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On Tuesday, the family of Bob Saget, including his wife Kelly Rizzo and his three daughters, Aubrey, 35; Lara, 32, and Jennifer, 29, from his previous marriage to Sherri Kramer, filed a lawsuit to block the release of records from the investigation of his death.
Saget died on January 9 from head trauma; he was found dead in an Orlando hotel room. He had performed in a stand-up show the previous night. His death was ruled an accident by the chief medical examiner for Orange and Osceola counties.
The lawsuit targeted the medical examiner’s office and the Orange County sheriff; it asked for injunctive relief to prevent the release of photographs, video, audio recordings and “statutorily protected autopsy information” related to his death, ABC News reported.
The lawsuit stated, “Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm in the form of extreme mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress if Defendants release the Records in response to public records requests or otherwise disseminate the Records for any other reason or purpose.”
“The complaint contends that media outlets have filed or plan to file public records requests seeking the release of the records and argues that no ‘legitimate public interest would be served’ by their release,” ABC News noted, adding that the family cited “legitimate privacy interests” so that the records only be released to them.
After Saget died, his family released a statement summarizing the conclusions of the autopsy, writing, “The authorities have determined that Bob passed from head trauma. They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved.”
Other medical specialists pointed out that the injuries were consistent with a severe trauma.
“This is a significant trauma. This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head or who has fallen from 20 or 30 feet,” said Gavin Britz, neurosurgery chief at Houston Methodist medical center, according to The New York Times.
Dr. Jason Freeman, a neurologist and stroke expert, told MSNBC:
I think the autopsy report does raise a number of questions about the nature and extent of the injuries…If we typically see slip and falls that that occur usually in the bathroom, someone hits the back of their head on the shower or the bathroom floor. These injuries described in detail in the autopsy report seem to go beyond that. And I think as you described in your opening this is where some of the medical professionals began to speculate about what could have caused the actual injuries.
“I would agree that the injuries as described just do typically form because of significant head trauma,” he continued. “So again, when someone slips and falls and hits the back of their head, there’s actually room for the brain to shift between the back in front of the head and cause some of the injuries as described in the autopsy report.”
He added, “But the degree of those fractures, especially the orbital and frontal bones, is typically seen with high impact traumas that you might see in a motor vehicle accident, blunt force trauma, and again, someone particularly falling from a height. And so I think it raises the question, maybe was there more than one fall? Did he fall backwards and then fall forwards in an unprotected manner? And what was it that investigators found besides what was described in the autopsy report?”
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