Coroner sued by widower allegedly awaiting autopsy results six months after wife's death

Kyle Barnett Jul. 18, 2012, 7:44am

Frank Minyard, M.D.

NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans man is suing a coroner for not providing an autopsy finding in the death of his wife.

Dan A. Smetherman filed suit against Frank Minyard, M.D. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on June 26.

Smetherman claims he asked for an autopsy to be done on his wife after she died in December 2011. The plaintiff claims the autopsy was affirmed to have been performed and his wife was cremated. But, he claims, the results of the autopsy were not revealed as the autopsy report indicates an investigation is pending.

Smetherman asserts the autopsy form still has not been corrected after more than six months following his wife's death. The plaintiff claims his daughter contacted the office who told her the cause of death was coronary thombrosis, but that the certificate of death was not completed with that explanation.

The defendant is accused of negligence and refusal to perform the duty of his office which has resulted in the inability of plaintiff to claim their rights under certain insurance policies.

The plaintiff seeks to compel Minyard to perform his statutory duty and complete the cause of death on the death certificate.

Smetherman is represented by himself.

The case has been assigned to Division H Judge Michael G. Bagneris.

Case no. 2012-06313.

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