Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Addressing the problem at the TBI lab

The result of a blood test in a case in Chattanooga was wrong and a person was wrongfully accused for a crime he did not committ. Once the DA's office learned of the issue, the case was immediately dismissed.
What happened? Apparently a toxicologist at TBI did not follow lab protocols and sent the result of someone else's blood as if it was the result of the accused. The blood alcohol level was reported as a .24, but was actually a .01.  The toxicologist has been fired and all the blood tests he conducted that had a positive result (2,800) will be re-tested by an independent lab. This error will cost the State thousands of dollars and result in many cases being delayed.
The Assistant Director of TBI sent a letter to our DA's explaining what happened:

The re-testing process will take at least several months, depending on how quickly bids from labs are recieved. The contract to do the testing must go through proper legal channels prior to anything else happening.
It is very disappointing that this occurred. I have spent time watching people at the lab work. They tend to do an outstanding job.

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