Case over autopsy on AIDS activist's child settled

Associated Press/March 5, 2008

Los Angeles - The widower of an AIDS activist has settled a lawsuit claiming the Los Angeles County coroner's office erred when it determined the couple's 3-year-old daughter died of AIDS-related pneumonia.

Attorneys for Robin Scovill and the county told a judge Feb. 26 that they had reached a settlement. The terms weren't disclosed in court documents.

The lawsuit stemmed from the autopsy conducted after the 2005 death of Eliza Jane Scovill. Scovill and his wife, Christine Maggiore, contended the conclusion lacked proper medical evidence.

A toxicologist retained by Maggiore reviewed the results of the autopsy and concluded the child died of an allergy to an antibiotic. The toxicologist served on an advisory group for Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, a group founded by Maggiore that rejects medical opinions that HIV is the cause of AIDS.

Calls to Scovill's lawyer Patrick Smith and the county's lawyer Christopher Gardner weren't immediately returned Thursday.

Maggiore contended the true risk factors for AIDS had to do with the sapping of the immune system through such things as malnutrition, drug use, chronic anxiety and lack of sleep.

Maggiore died at age 52 last December after being treated for pneumonia in the six months preceding her death. She had been diagnosed with HIV in 1992.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.