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Lauer v. City of New York

Court of Appeals of New York
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 all of the claims. The Appellate Division affirmed all of the dismissals except the claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress, which it reinstated.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kaye, C.J.)

Dissent (Bellacosa, J.)

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