Family takes Pierce County coroner to court over suicide

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Pierce County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Clark (Photo courtesy Pierce County TV)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The family of a 16-year-old boy who died from a fall off a Washington state bridge is asking the court to intervene on his official death certificate.

Michael Gish on Wednesday petitioned a Pierce County Superior Court judge to review Pierce County Medical Examiner Thomas Clark’s determination that his son, Jordon Gish, died by suicide.

The family says the boy’s death was an accident and the suicide ruling is affecting benefit claims.

The teenager died in July 2017 while playing on a Puyallup bridge with a friend. The News Tribune reports that the teen was setting off firecrackers with a friend around 4 a.m. The two were reportedly on the bridge at 1100 N. Meridian.

The lawyer on the Gish case also represented a whistleblower who filed a complaint against Clark this year, accusing the coroner of mismanaging death investigations.

A Pierce County spokeswoman in a statement said that the review process can be difficult for loved ones.

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