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The Schmooze

Dueling Funeral Homes Fight Over Mandel Name

The Chicago Tribune is reporting trouble in Skokie, Illinois, as two Jewish funeral parlors duke it out in court for the use of one man’s name.

It goes something like this: Service Corp. International, the company that owns the original parlor, Lloyd Mandel Levayah Funerals, is suing Lloyd Mandel himself, the former owner of Levayah. The company is demanding that the court prohibit Mr. Mandel from using his name for his new funeral service business, aptly named Lloyd Mandel Mitzvah Memorial Funerals. To add icing on the kosher cake, the company is also asking for unspecified damages. According to the Tribune, the lawsuit claims that when Mandel sold his funeral service in 1995, he also sold the name of the business. Now that Mandel has opened a new funeral business in his name, the company is accusing him of violating the earlier agreement.

While court documents show that Service Corp. International believes that Mandel’s new business has caused confusion and “substantial and irreparable harm,” Mandel disputes this claim, telling the Tribune, “I have the right to use my name.”

Both business owners found an appropriate outlet in which to vent their frustrations: the Tribune’s obituary section. Turns out, the funeral business is not all fun and games.

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