Hearing To Look At How NC Investigates Deaths

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

The Charlotte Observer reported (http://bit.ly/10lxhlA) Dr. John Butts will testify at an N.C. Industrial Commission hearing to determine if the state should pay damages to families.

Butts will testify in a Hillsborough courtroom about the state's investigation into the 2008 death of 40-year-old Lorraine Young of Baltimore. Her family says a Guilford County medical examiner shipped the wrong corpse to a New Jersey funeral home.

Butts says he couldn't discipline medical examiners for flawed investigations because they're not state employees.

The N.C. attorney general's office has said medical examiners work for the public and have no duty to individual families.