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Cook County Medical Examiner to Resign Over Morgue Safety Violations

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A state agency found almost two dozen safety violations at the Cook County Morgue in Chicago, revealing horrors from falling bodies to exposure to hepatitis B.

Cook County's medical examiner will resign next month, and four other employees have already been fired, according to ABC station WLS-TV in Chicago.

Of the 21 violations in the Illinois Department of Labor report, 15 were labeled "serious." Here are a few listed in the report:

  • Bodies have fallen from up to 10 feet high in the cooler room because of a faulty rack.
  • Autopsy room employees didn't have eye protection to shield them from "splashes, spray, spatter or droplets of blood or other potential infectious materials."
  • Employees weren't given hepatitis B vaccinations before they were exposed to it during the work day.


WLS-TV posted the full report here.

The findings come days after one family filed a lawsuit against the embattled morgue, alleging it lost their relative, Brian Warren, for 10 days in December 2011, the Chicago Sun Times reports. His body was there, but when family members called, morgue employees said it wasn't, the suit claims.

The family is seeking $3 million in punitive damages from Cook County Morgue and the hospital where Warren died, according to the Sun Times.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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