Hearing to examine at how NC investigates deaths

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The doctor who oversaw North Carolina death investigations for 23 years is expected to testify this week as families try to hold medical examiners accountable for their mistakes.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Dr. John Butts plans to testify at an N.C. Industrial Commission hearing to determine if the state should pay damages to families.

The paper reported that Butts will testify in a Hillsborough courtroom about the state’s investigation into the 2008 death of 40-year-old Baltimore resident Lorraine Young.

Young’s family said a Guilford County medical examiner shipped the wrong corpse to a New Jersey funeral home.

Butts said because medical examiners are not state employees, he could not discipline them for flawed investigations.

The N.C. Attorney General’s Office has said medical examiners have no duty to individual families and work for the public.

Read more: The Charlotte Observer

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