NAAG Labs: Deal cut with Lubbock Co. over backlog

NAAG Labs: Deal cut with Lubbock Co. over backlog

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The company previously in charge of the Lubbock County Medical Examiner's office announced a deal struck with county leaders Friday, intended to eliminate a backlog of 172 death investigations it left behind.

NAAG Pathology Labs indicated its negotiations with the civil division of the district attorney's office include Lubbock County arranging and paying for evidence to be shipped from San Diego. The company claims that will ensure the integrity of the materials and the chain of custody necessary for any criminal cases.

NAAG reports those materials, including tissue samples and slides, have been maintained in California at the company's expense, with the knowledge and approval of the county. The company indicates they were kept there because of the availability of medical experts, as well as "significant concerns about security of the materials at the medical examiner's office."

The company states it will complete "certain paperwork" for the 172 open cases and forward those to the current medical examiner, Dr. John Lang, so he can make final determinations of cause of death and issue pending death certificates. NAAG argues that information was never "removed" from Lubbock County, since it was all kept in a "secure digital platform."

In its statement, the company claims this process could have been completed weeks ago "if Lubbock County had shown a willingness to cooperate."

Lubbock County has not confirmed this deal; this story will be updated.

THURSDAY: NAAG: Decision to not renew its contract with the county due to ‘toxic political environment’

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