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Former Nueces County Chief Medical Examiner served lawsuit

Nueces County medical examiner's office.jpg
Posted at 8:28 PM, Feb 02, 2023

UPDATE: (Feb. 7, 5:00 p.m.):

Former Nueces County Chief Medical Examiner Adel Shaker was served with a lawsuit on Monday.

According to court documents, former deputy chief medical examiner Sandra Lyden, and the county were both served with the same suit in January.

The suit, filed by Gowan Elizondo on behalf of 12 families, alleges the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s office negligently handled bodies, mutilated some bodies, and death certificates were falsified.

Court documents stated Lyden and the county had to reply within 20 days or a judge could make a default judgment against them.

As of their Feb. 6 deadline, they have not responded.

Since Shaker was served on Monday, he has the same amount of days to respond.

This is a developing story. Check back with KRIS 6 news for updates.


A local law firm representing 12 families, Gowan Elizando, is giving Nueces County a deadline to respond to their allegations of wrongdoing against former chief medical examiner Adel Shaker and former deputy chief M.E. Sandra Lyden.

The families filing suit first in October 2022 claim the M.E.'s office negligently handled and mutilated the bodies, and death certificates were falsified.

As reported by KRIS 6 News,Lyden was fired in January 2022 after she ruled a 27-year-old woman died as a result of a fractured neck.A second autopsy, later done by an independent forensic pathologist, found that the woman died of natural causes.

Lyden was found to not have a Texas medical license and was later arrested. Shaker was also arrested and charged with 17 violations of the Texas Occupations Code.

According to a press release from Gowan Elizondo, Lyden was served two weeks ago but they’ve been unable to serve Shaker, who claims he is out of the country but will be back soon.

The families have asked for a response from the county by next Monday Feb. 6. The case is expected to be heard by a judge from Hidalgo county.

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