An attorney who filed a lawsuit in December alleging officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections or a related entity removed and retained a dead inmate’s organs asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit on Monday.

The lawsuit received national and international news coverage months ago when it was first filed.

The motion for joint dismissal was agreed upon by attorneys for the plaintiffs and attorneys from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences representing the defendants. A federal judge will still have to sign off on the motion for the case to be officially dismissed.

Plaintiffs in the case are Audrey Marie Dotson and Audrey South, personal representatives of the estate of Brandon Dotson, an inmate who died in November at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton. 

“Plaintiffs suspected foul play, in part because of the Alabama Department of Corrections’ extensive and ongoing violations of basic human and constitutional rights, so they retained Dr. Boris Datnow, an autopsy pathologist, to conduct a second autopsy of Mr. Dotson’s body. Upon conducting the autopsy, Dr. Datnow discovered that the heart was missing from the chest cavity of Mr Dotson’s body. The Alabama Department of Corrections – or an agent responsible for conducting the autopsy or transporting the body to his family – had, inexplicably and without the required permission from Mr. Dotson’s next of kin, removed and retained Mr. Dotson’s heart,” Lauren Faraino, an attorney for Dotson said in her lawsuit filed in December.

Tara Hetzel, a deputy Alabama Attorney General, said in a response filing in March the complaint was a shotgun pleading because it is filled with “vague and conclusory allegations.”

Dismissal Joint by Caleb Taylor on Scribd

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