Even before jury selection was completed, a mistrial was declared in a lawsuit brought by a Woodland Hills woman who claims that punk rockers disturbed her 17-year-old daughter's funeral and tampered with the girl's grave at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Glendale.
Francine Ross sought more than $1 million from Forest Lawn for alleged negligence in failing to keep her daughter's punk rocker friends, including one girl allegedly wearing a dress decorated with live rats, away from the 1981 funeral.
The daughter, Kristie, died of a drug overdose.
After many delays, jury selection began last week before Glendale Superior Court Judge Joseph R. Kalin.
But the judge ruled last Thursday that one of Ross' complaints, alleging breach of contract by Forest Lawn, was improperly drawn. Ross' attorney, Mark M. Geyer, accepted the judge's offer of a mistrial rather than continue the case with arguments only on the remaining claims, alleging negligence and emotional distress.
"All this does is to give me more time to do a better job," Geyer said.
Request to Pay Legal Fees
However, Forest Lawn's attorney, Marc J. Wodin, said he was upset by the mistrial ruling and was preparing to ask the judge to require Ross to pay Forest Lawn's legal fees, which he said amount to "many thousands" of dollars. Wodin also said he may ask the judge to throw out the entire case because of the delays.