Nursing Homes Are Obligated to Report Deaths to Medical Examiner
Pursuant to Minnesota Statute, 144A.10, Subd. 10., reporting to medical examiner or coroner, whenever a duly authorized representative of the commissioner of health has reasonable cause to believe that a resident has died as a direct or indirect result of abuse or neglect, the representative shall report that information to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner and police department or county sheriff. The medical examiner or coroner shall complete an investigation as soon as feasible and report the findings to the police department or county sheriff, and to the commissioner of health.
Investigation of Deaths by Medical Examiner
According to Minnesota Statute 390.11, INVESTIGATIONS, Subdivision 1., reports of death, all sudden or unexpected deaths and all deaths that may be due entirely or in part to any factor other than natural disease processes must be promptly reported to the coroner or medical examiner for evaluation. Sufficient information must be provided to the coroner or medical examiner. Reportable deaths include, but are not limited to:
(1) unnatural deaths, including violent deaths arising from homicide, suicide, or accident;
(2) deaths due to a fire or associated with burns or chemical, electrical, or radiation injury;
(3) unexplained or unexpected perinatal and postpartum maternal deaths;
(4) deaths under suspicious, unusual, or unexpected circumstances;
(5) deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated or otherwise disposed of so that the bodies will later be unavailable for examination;
(6) deaths of inmates of public institutions and persons in custody of law enforcement officers who have not been hospitalized primarily for organic disease;
(7) deaths that occur during, in association with, or as the result of diagnostic, therapeutic, or anesthetic procedures;
(8) deaths due to culpable neglect;
(9) stillbirths of 20 weeks or longer gestation unattended by a physician;
(10) sudden deaths of persons not affected by recognizable disease;
(11) unexpected deaths of persons notwithstanding a history of underlying disease;
(12) deaths in which a fracture of a major bone such as a femur, humerus, or tibia has occurred within the past six months;
(13) deaths unattended by a physician occurring outside of a licensed health care facility or licensed residential hospice program;
(14) deaths of persons not seen by their physician within 120 days of demise;
(15) deaths of persons occurring in an emergency department;
(16) stillbirths or deaths of newborn infants in which there has been maternal use of or exposure to unprescribed controlled substances including street drugs or in which there is history or evidence of maternal trauma;
(17) unexpected deaths of children;
(18) solid organ donors;
(19) unidentified bodies;
(20) skeletonized remains;
(21) deaths occurring within 24 hours of arrival at a health care facility if death is unexpected;
(22) deaths associated with the decedent’s employment;
(23) deaths of nonregistered hospice patients or patients in nonlicensed hospice programs; and
(24) deaths attributable to acts of terrorism.
The coroner or medical examiner shall determine the extent of the coroner’s or medical examiner’s investigation, including whether additional investigation is needed by the coroner or medical examiner, jurisdiction is assumed, or an autopsy will be performed, subject to subdivision 2b.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore has decades of experience and handles wrongful death as well as the following types of elder abuse claims and others:
Violation of Resident Rights
For a Free Consultation to obtain information on how to hold negligent wrongdoers accountable from an experienced attorney contact Minneapolis Elder Abuse Neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore at 612-743-9048 or Toll Free at 1-888-452-6589, email: KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.