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Lauer v. City of New York
New York Court of Appeals
733 N.E.2d 184 (2000)
Lauer’s (plaintiff’s) son died, and a medical examiner, employed by New York City (city) (defendant) performed an autopsy. The medical examiner prepared a report stating that the death was a homicide, resulting from blunt injuries to the brain and neck. Based on this report, police began an investigation into the supposed homicide, which focused primarily on Lauer. Weeks later the medical examiner determined that the child’s death was caused by an aneurysm, and not homicide, but failed to correct the initial autopsy report or death certificate, or notify law enforcement. The police investigation continued for another 17 months, until the autopsy findings were finally revised. Lauer brought several claims against the city, including a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The trial court dismissed certain claims, but denied the city's motion to dismiss the plaintiff's emotional-distress claims. The Appellate Division concluded that only the plaintiff's negligent infliction of emotional distress claim could proceed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kaye, C.J.)
Dissent (Bellacosa, J.)
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