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Public Health Information Management, Privacy & Security

Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner v. Las Vegas Review-Journal

Overview

Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner v. Las Vegas Review-Journal (Nevada Supreme Court, March 25, 2020): A Nevada court held that a coroner’s office was required to disclose juvenile autopsy reports requested by a newspaper under the Nevada Public Records Act. The reports concerned juveniles involved in the Department of Child and Family Services. In Nevada, a Child Death Review (CDR) team consisting of public agencies (such as law enforcement, medical providers, and coroner’s office) review select records of juvenile deaths to make recommendations to improve law and policies that support child safety and prevent future deaths. The coroner’s office denied the request for the reports citing a state statute that protects information obtained by a CDR team. Interpreting the statute narrowly, the court held it applied to a CDR team as a whole. It did not preclude disclosure of records held by an agency that is part of a CDR team irrespective of the team’s activity. As the records contain sensitive private information, the court remanded the matter for a determination on what private medical or health related information should be redacted. Read the decision here.

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