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Sloppy autopsies

When Humboldt County residents die, some postmortem examinations are outsourced to Forensic Medical Group whose overworked and otherwise troubled staff have mixed up corpses and botched procedures.

“I can remember one time driving up to Humboldt County, and that was a five-hour drive, to do three autopsies including an infant and drive back the same day to be at work the next morning,” [Dr. Brian] Peterson said. “It was wear and tear.”

Errors by FMG once caused an innocent man to spend 18 months in jail.

Full story.

  1. WTF
    February 6, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Just watched a PBS Frontline Investigation, you will never guess who is named and documented as a part of their story, you have to watch this, here is the link:


  2. Anonymous
    February 6, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Would you mind just telling us, WTF?

  3. Hank Sims
    February 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I still haven’t gotten around to watching that Frontline, but as a side note: The episode was associate-produced by fellow NCJ alum Japhet Weeks.

  4. WTF
    February 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Forensic Medical Group. You have to watch this, very important that everyone watch this.

  5. February 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

    The frontline story is very disturbing. Thanks for the link.

    you will never guess who is named and documented as a part of their story

    I watched the whole thing. Who are we supposed to “guess”?

  6. Mitch
    February 6, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Please connect the dots, WTF. WhoTF is Forensic Medical Group?

    Sorry to be so slow.

  7. Not an Expert
    February 6, 2011 at 10:57 am

    The NPR reports have pointed out that there is a real problem with our system in which a coroner’s only qualification is the ability to get elected. How the hell can someone determine the cause of death without any training?! Absurd.

  8. Not an Expert
    February 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

    The state compensation website list the Humboldt County Coroner’s salary as 74-150K, and there are the Deputy Coroner, Assistant Coroner, Medical Assistant, Legal Office Assistant, Office Assistant…

  9. WTF
    February 6, 2011 at 11:59 am

    The Forensic Medical Group is the same one Dr. Gil was working for in Sonoma County. The Forensic Medical Group contracts out to 5 or 6 Northern California County’s, Humboldt being one of them. If you missed that in the Frontline video, you need to watch it again.

  10. February 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Ok, just break it to us – who are you going after now?

  11. February 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm
  12. tra
    February 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I propose a new word:

    Sloppy + autopsies = sloptopsies.

    No more sloptopsies!

  13. Mitch
    February 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm


  14. WTF
    February 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Rose, who are you asking?

  15. February 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I got it, WTF. The Frontline investigation is directly related to the article linked above, and both are tied to autopsies on residents of Humboldt County. The only confusion was the guessing game.

  16. February 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    The Press-Democrat story is the same one that appeared in the Chronicle. But it’s good to see widespread attention on this issue.

  17. WTF
    February 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Heraldo 2:01 pm, I guess? Sorry this was such a brain twister. I just expected people to watch the video. I forget we live in a real time age, no time to watch or read anything, just a sound bit or trailer is all we need for information?

  18. Anonymous
    February 6, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Hey, WTF, didn’t you “get the memo?” We are living in an “Information Age.” We are “up to our eyeballs” in information and people are trying to shovel even more information “down our throats.” So if you, and others, would be so kind as to give us a CLUE what your links are linked TO, I and other busy people like me might consider clinking on them there links. Can I make it any clearer than that? No? I didn’t think so. Now go and sin no more.

  19. Goldie
    February 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Dr. Gil on CSI?

  20. Anonymous
    February 7, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Never heard of him, Goldie.

  21. Anon.
    February 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Gee- I don’t have the time right now to watch that whole episode, but uh- didn’t ‘we’ just elect our former coroner, Mayor?

    I guess we hope he was an extremely overqualified coroner, don’t we?

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