“In catastrophic injury cases, defense counsel are most familiar with the first responder investigations conducted by local and state police and fire departments,” write James W. Ozog and Staci A. Williamson, partners in Goldberg Segalla’s Product Liability Practice Group. “In death cases, however, there is a third public responder: the local Medical Examiner’s Office.”
In this article written for the Defense Research Institute, Jim and Staci explore the importance of the work and the file of a medical examiner in defending a wrongful death case, including a breakdown of the procedures and information collected by the Office of the Medical Examiner; the interplay of causation experts, medical examiners, and retained forensic pathologists; and case studies involving successful use of expert evidence from medical examiners and forensic pathologists.
“Do not overlook the work and the file of a medical examiner,” the authors write. “This ‘public official’ evidence is generally credible and may become a powerful weapon when a plaintiff’s expert attempts to concoct a theory, as is often the case, that is contrary to the true facts.”