National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Bill would require release of autopsy reports related to cause of death cases

A bill set for action early next year in the state Senate would require coroners to release autopsy reports related to the cause of death in cases such as that of Tucker Hipps, the Clemson student who died during a fraternity run in September.

State Sen. Larry Martin said he pre-filed the bill in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that came out after the legislative session ended last summer that found that autopsy reports are "medical records" and thus exempt from disclosure under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis cited the ruling in refusing to release autopsy reports, including a toxicology report, on Hipps, who died of head injuries after falling from a bridge across Lake Hartwell. Continue>>>