Lubbock County reaches no fault settlement with former deputy medical examiner

Updated: Nov. 7, 2017 at 10:45 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock County has reached a no fault settlement after a former Lubbock County Deputy Medical Examiner filed a lawsuit under the Texas Whistleblower Act back in 2015.

Doctor Luisa Florez said she was wrongfully terminated after she reported what she believed to be illegal activity taking place at the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office.

Dr. Florez filed a lawsuit against Lubbock County, the commissioners, the medical examiner's office, and the medical examiner himself.

Dr. Florez said she reported what she believed to be multiple violations of the law to county commissioners and the district attorney's office and then lost her job.

Now information on the $230,000 settlement agreement has been released.

Assistant Criminal District Attorney Neal Burt says both parties agreed that due to the uncertainty of litigation and the complexity of the case, as well as expenses that went into trying the case, that a settlement would be best.

TAC, the Texas Association of Counties, paid $115,000 to Dr. Flores. Lubbock County paid an additional $115,000.

Why was TAC involved?

"They offer a variety of insurance type coverages, just as you or I or a private citizen would have insurance for a home or car or whatnot. They offer it for a variety of areas. One of those is Public Officials Liability coverage," Burt said.

"When we get involved in complex litigations like this we pull in TAC to help us with some expert representation. We still involve ourselves in the day to day document production and discovery-related matters but it is an insurance coverage of sorts that, not just Lubbock, but many counties in the state utilize," Burt said.

Burt says through the settlement no party admitted or was found at fault.

He says this is the only situation that the county has faced with regard to the medical examiner and his staff and that all the allegations were addressed with no fault.

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