Three men are suing over claims their mother's body was cremated against their wishes and in violation of Jewish law.

David Green, Melvin Greengus and Phil Greengus filed a lawsuit Sept. 2 in Cook County Circuit Court against Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois (AGA), Veterans Funeral Services, doing business as Veterans Burial and Crematory Services, Rush University Medical Center and Heights Crematory Inc.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs' mother died on Dec. 5, 2011, and her body was donated to AGA for scientific research with the condition that her body would not be cremated but returned to the family for interment in accordance with Jewish law.

The men claim AGA agreed and even required the family to prepay Veterans Funeral Services to transport their mother's body, which the family did, and AGA subsequently transferred the body to Rush University Medical Center for the study period.

On Feb. 17, 2014, the suit states, Green contacted AGA to determine when the family could plan an interment, and learned that Rush University had transferred his mother's body to Heights Crematory on Sept. 24, 2013, and the crematory went ahead with the cremation despite not having the proper permit.

The defendants are accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress and willful and wanton interference with the right to possession, preservation and interment. The crematory is accused of violating the Illinois Crematory Regulation Act, and AGA and Veterans are accused of breach of contract.

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $50,000 in damages and are represented by attorneys Barbara L. Yong and Matthew C. Wasserman of Golan & Christie in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L009166.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it only represents one side of the story.

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