Young vs. NC Department of Health & Human Services

Misidentification by NC Medical Examiner Causes Wrong Family to Get Wrong Body

Lorraine Young’s family is suing North Carolina Department of Health & Human Resources, after a medical examiner in Guilford County shipped the wrong body to a New Jersey Mortuary for her funeral five years ago. The family discovered the mixup just in time to prevent Young’s body from being cremated. Attorney Michael Maggiano is representing Young’s family in this case saying that establishing the identity should be paramount in any death investigation, especially when there are multiple victims.

“You have a three victim car crash (and) no ID on any of the bodies. Isn’t it the duty of the M.E. to investigate who each one is for a positive ID?” Maggiano asked.

Lorraine Young’s family is seeking $6 million over the error, plus public attention for a state system that allows county medical examiners — state appointees paid $100 a case — to skip steps in post-death investigations.

Young’s case is one of four accusing state medical examiners of various failings, The Charlotte Observer reported in a lengthy article that raises the question of structural defects in a system tasked with examining bodies after suspicious deaths.