California Court of Appeal

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Perryman v. County of Los Angeles, B194373

In suit alleging that the county coroner negligently failed to preserve the bodily remains of plaintiffs' murdered relative, dismissal of complaint is affirmed where: 1) no mandatory statutory duty requires the coroner to embalm or refrigerate corpses; 2) the government is not vicariously liable for the acts of employees at the coroner's office, who generally perform autopsies and have no duty to handle remains in the same manner as mortuaries or crematories that contract to provide dignified services to relatives; and 3) California law confers no constitutionally protected property right in dead bodies that would entitle appellants to claim a civil rights violation under federal law.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 07/31/2007
  • Published 07/31/2007

Judges

  • BOREN, P.J.

Court

  • California Court of Appeal

Counsel

  • For Appellant:
  • Moreno & Perez, Hermez Moreno, Richard T. Copeland for Plaintiffs and Appellants.

  • For Appellees:
  • Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, Laura Inlow;  Greines, Martin, Stein, Richland, Martin Stein, Carolyn Oill, Los Angeles, for Defendant and Respondent.
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