Sharp v. Belle Maison Nursing Home, Inc., 2007 La. App. LEXIS 541 (La. Ct. App. 2007)

Plaintiffs filed suit against physicians, nursing home and parish coroner. The coroner filed a peremptory exception contending there was no cause of action, contending he had no duty to assist the family in preserving evidence of alleged negligence. Plaintiffs insist that the coroner was legally obligated to perform an autopsy under La. R.S. § 33:1563(B)(1) because there was a reasonable probability that the violation of a criminal statute by the nursing home staff contributed to Mrs. Sharp’s death. Plaintiffs cited no authority for their claim. The court agreed with the coroner that the law does not impose a duty on the coroner to conduct an autopsy for the benefit of private individuals. Decided: March 23, 2007

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