February 28, 2011 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

In recent months, deficiencies in forensic pathology have made news in both the United States and Canada. In a story released February 5, 2011, on CaliforniaWatch.com, reporter Ryan Gabrielson wrote that “Coroners in Northern California are farming out thousands of cases each year to a private firm whose doctors have dissected the wrong body and have given inaccurate testimony that helped send an innocent person to jail.” He was referring to Forensic Medical Group Inc., and noted that more than a dozen counties in Northern California rely on this private firm. National Public Radio (NPR) produced a series on these same problems, titled “Shortage Of Death Detectives To Perform Autopsies.”

MORE ON: Autopsies

Similar media coverage in Canada is focusing on the problems in forensic pathology in that country. On February 6, 2011, the Vancouver Sun published an in-depth report “Training Standards for Forensic Pathologists Vary Across Canada.” In the provinces of Ontario and Alberta, government reviews of forensic pathology are ongoing in response to public disclosures of errors and “botched” autopsies that may have wrongly influenced convictions in a number of high- profile criminal trials.


All turned out well for kidnapped pathologist Dr. Memfin Ekpo of the University of Uyno, which is Nigeria’s most prestigious university. After 18 days of captivity, he was released unharmed. It is not known if a ransom was paid. As reported by THE DARK REPORT on February 7, Dr. Ekpo was abducted by gunman during a church service on January 16. A hefty ransom was demanded for his release.


  • Paul R. Sohmer, M.D. is the new President and CEO for Viracor-IBT Laboratories of Kansas City, Missouri. His executive experience includes companies such as TriPath Imaging, Inc.; Genetrix, Inc.; Nichols Institute; and Chiron Reference Laboratory.
  • Earlier this month, Halfpenny Technologies, Inc., of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania hired Jim Whitehurst to be its Vice President of Sales. Whitehurst had previously been Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SeaCoast Laboratory Data Systems, Inc.

Dark Daily Update

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about…

…how Quest Diagnostics Incorporated will pay $740 million to purchase Athena Diagnostics from Thermo Fisher. It is the highest price for a laboratory company acquisition in 2011.

You can get the free DARK Daily e-briefings by signing up at www.darkdaily.com.


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