‘Star Tribune’ Drops Suit Over Stringer Autopsy

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(AP) The Star Tribune has dropped a lawsuit against the medical examiner to obtain information on the death of Minnesota Vikings tackle Korey Stringer.

The newspaper will instead pursue a clarification of the medical examiner’s role under the state Data Practices Act, Editor Tim McGuire said Monday.

The newspaper believes that the medical examiner “misunderstood his obligation to provide public information in a timely fashion,” McGuire said. The newspaper filed a motion in August to get the data, including the cause of death, which it believed was public information.

That information was included on Stringer’s death certificate when it was filed in mid-August. He died of heat stroke early Aug. 1 after practicing the day before in hot, humid weather.

Stringer’s autopsy was done by Dr. Dennis Gremel, the Blue Earth County medical examiner. When a government medical examiner determines the cause and manner of death during an autopsy, that information is part of the public record.

But Gremel said he didn’t have to release the information because he performed the autopsy in his role as a pathologist at Immanuel St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mankato.

McGuire said officials eventually released everything the law requires. He said the newspaper is still interested in finding out whether medical examiners can choose to perform autopsies in a role other than their public one.

McGuire said the newspaper didn’t think the lawsuit would resolve that problem and decided instead to seek clarification from the state Department of Administration, which makes rulings on the Data Practices Act.

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