On Tuesday, the family of late comedian Bob Saget filed a complaint in Orlando, Florida. They asked the state to prohibit the release of any records from the local medical examiner’s office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office involving the probe into Saget’s death.
The filing comes after experts questioned the official cause of death and said the autopsy explanation “left a number of unresolved questions” and his injuries “unusual.” Some have asked for the body to be re-examined.
A judge agreed with a request from Saget’s widow and his three daughters to keep his records private on Wednesday. The court issued a temporary injunction to prohibit the release of any photos, video, or other records related to the investigation into Saget’s death. The court said that releasing the records would cause the family irreparable harm.
Circuit Judge Vincent Chiu — who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2019 — handled the case. He said that Saget’s family would suffer “severe mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress” unless their request was granted, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press.
Chiu said aid the temporary injunction was in the public’s interest. He still needs to decide whether the family’s privacy concerns outweigh any claims for the records to be released.
Saget, 65, was found dead Jan. 9 in a room at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando. He had performed in the area the night before as part of a stand-up tour.
Since then, reports about Saget’s death have been coming out piecemeal.
For example, an autopsy report showed that Saget had an abrasion on his scalp, a fracture at the base of his skull, fractures around his eye sockets, bleeding between the brain and tissue covering the brain, and bruises to the brain. A toxicology analysis didn’t show any illicit drugs or toxins in Saget’s body.
“His injuries were most likely incurred from an unwitnessed fall,” Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany said in a statement obtained by the New York Daily News.
Sponsored: The truth about eggs and senior brains
During the course of the autopsy and death investigation, the medical examiner’s office and sheriff’s office created graphic videos and photos of Saget’s body, as well as audio recordings. Such records are prohibited by state law from being released publicly, but some media outlets have already filed requests for them, according to the family’s lawsuit.
“Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm in the form of extreme mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress if Defendants release the Records in response to public records requests or otherwise disseminate the records for any other reason or purpose,” the family’s complaint said.
Under a Florida law passed following the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt two decades ago, records related to autopsies are required to be kept confidential, with only surviving family members or a government agency as part of its official duties allowed to view them.
However, “upon a showing of good cause,” a court can allow the records to be viewed or copied under the supervision of the records’ custodian. In allowing the records to be viewed, a judge must consider whether it’s necessary to evaluate governmental performance and the seriousness of the intrusion into the family’s privacy, among other criteria, according to the law.
“No legitimate public interest would be served by the release or dissemination of the records to the public,” said the lawsuit by Saget’s family.
Saget was best known for his role as beloved single dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom “Full House” and as the wisecracking host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” He was buried in Los Angeles.
Since then, Saget’s family has been posting tributes on social media. Plus, fans have discovered Saget’s habit of leaving supportive comments on the Instagram posts by his daughter, a painter.
Take a look —
Bob Saget’s daughter is a painter and I found her instagram. He commented on almost all of them and it made me cry at 6am on a Friday. pic.twitter.com/Jl8z0mObG3
— jenna rink (@baja_blast_off) February 11, 2022
The Horn editorial team and The Associated Press contributed to this article.