Tort Law

Family of Living Man Declared Dead Seeks to Sue Medical Examiner

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Declared dead by a paramedic after an auto accident almost five years ago, Larry Green was zipped into a body bag and refrigerated before a medical examiner for Franklin County, N.C., noticed signs of life.

Although he survived, the 34-year-old Green is bedridden and needs 24-hour care in a nursing home. Seeking money to cover his care and provide more rehabilitation, his relatives and a guardian are trying to sue the medical examiner, J.B. Perdue, reports the News & Observer.

A Franklin County judge agreed that Perdue—who allegedly pooh-poohed several paramedics’ suggestions that Green was, in fact, alive—is not protected by sovereign immunity from being sued in state court. Yesterday, the North Carolina Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case.

“We don’t think there’s any evidence that he acted negligently,” said special deputy attorney general Mabel Bullock of the medical examiner.

Franklin County earlier settled for $1 million in the case, but a group of paramedics from Louisburg is still litigating.

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