The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

December 11, 2013

Attorney general subpoenaed local death certificates

Link is local health center

ANDERSON, Ind. — In 2011, Michael W. Lockridge Sr. had been receiving prescriptions from the Madison County Community Health Center to handle pain from diabetes and pulmonary disease, his fiancee told The Herald Bulletin this week.

On the day before he died in 2011, the 44-year-old Lockridge visited another doctor in Anderson who gave him a prescription for morphine, the fiancee, April Davis, said.

Lockridge’s death certificate is among 12 that were subpoenaed earlier this year by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office served on the Madison County Health Department, The Herald Bulletin learned through an open records request. The newspaper also obtained death certificates involving drug overdoses in the county back to 2010.

Lockridge’s cause of death, according to the Madison County Coroner’s Office, was due to mixed drug intoxication. No autopsy was performed as his death, which was ruled accidental, followed the ingestion of drugs on his own.

The names of physicians are not listed on the death certificates. The Herald Bulletin contacted families and found a common thread involving the health center, 1547 Ohio Ave. The subpoena does not name the health center or the reason for requesting the death records.

A second subpoena was served on the county coroner’s office seeking similar information. Marian Dunnichay, Madison County coroner, said she also received a subpoena from the attorney general’s office for the production of original documents for inspection in regard to drug overdose cases from 2010 through 2012.

“They wanted information on any case that may have been a drug overdose,” she said. “They provided a list of names, date of death and birth date. The request was for the toxicology test results and any autopsy information. They’re looking at names, who prescribed the drugs.”

Erin Reese, public information officer for the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, said as part of the information gathering process involving health care providers, the office occasionally seeks official records from other government agencies.

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