LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has reached a settlement with Agape Funeral Home, Inc. to resolve allegations that the company routinely engaged in deceptive and unlawful business practices, including by failing to provide itemized pricing for services and by misrepresenting that unnecessary procedures were required. Five other funeral homes cooperated fully with the City Attorney’s office and voluntarily came into compliance with the law.
"It's appalling that anyone confronting the loss of a loved one should confront practices that take advantage of their vulnerability," said Feuer. "This settlement, and our other enforcement efforts, underscore that our office will continue to ensure funeral homes operate according to the law and consumers are protected against predatory practices."
The lawsuit against Agape Funeral Home, Inc., a funeral home located at 420 S. Central Avenue, stems from an investigation launched by the City Attorney in 2017 identifying six funeral homes in Los Angeles whose websites were not in compliance with state requirements to either provide a link to a price list or a statement that a price list is available upon request. While five of the companies complied with letters sent demanding compliance with regulations, Agape failed to fully change their practices.
Over the course of 11 months, the City Attorney gave Agape multiple opportunities to bring its website, marketing materials and sales practices into compliance with state law. Multiple undercover investigations were conducted by the City Attorney to verify compliance including as recently as February 2018.
According to the lawsuit, Agape was allegedly engaged in fraudulent and deceptive sales of funeral goods and services, including: misrepresenting to consumers that embalming is required when it is not; failing to maintain current and accurate price lists (including a general price list and casket price list); failing to provide consumers who make in-person inquiries a general price list when beginning to discuss Agape’s offered funeral goods or services and their prices; failing to provide consumers who make in-person inquiries a casket price list when beginning to discuss, and before showing, Agape’s offered caskets or alternative containers and their prices; and failing to provide information concerning Agape’s general price list on its website.
As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20,000, will be placed under an injunction for four years and is ordered to comply with all state laws, regulations and rules.
Deputy City Attorneys Adam Teitlebaum, Jennifer Lam and Yecenia Olmos of the City Attorney’s Affirmative Litigation Section successfully investigated and handled the litigation.