Zachery Tims Cause of Death Update: Mom Begins Legal Battle with City of NY

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The New York attorney for Zachery Tims’ mother said Tuesday the family is challenging the legal right of the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office to release the cause of death of the Apopka preacher.

Ricardo Oquendo, who represents Madeline Tims in the lawsuit filed Friday, said autopsy and toxicology reports are not public record in New York City and their findings should not be either.

“We are challenging what has never been challenged before, which is the medical examiner’s practice of disclosing manner and cause of death,” Oquendo said. “The cause of death of any person who may be subject to an autopsy or toxicology should not be made
public.”

The New York Medical Examiner’s Office issued a statement from the city’s legal department saying that releasing the cause of death is not the same as releasing a toxicology report or autopsy.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office does not release autopsy reports to the public. Rather, it discloses the cause and manner of death upon public inquiry,” said New York City Attorney Ave Maria Brennan. “The City feels it’s important to make this information available to the public. The Law Department will defend this challenge to the medical examiner’s ability to do so.”

The New York Medical Examiner’s Office issued a statement from the city’s legal department saying that releasing the cause of death is not the same as releasing a toxicology report or autopsy.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office does not release autopsy reports to the public. Rather, it discloses the cause and manner of death upon public inquiry,” said New York City Attorney Ave Maria Brennan. “The City feels it’s important to make this information available to the public. The Law Department will defend this challenge to the medical examiner’s ability to do so.”

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