Florida papers drop Earnhardt photo suit
April 13, 2004
10:34 AM EDT (1434 GMT)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Two Florida newspapers have dropped their legal challenge to a law restricting access to autopsy photos passed after the death of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.
The Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel say they voluntarily dismissed the case after the U-S Supreme Court ruled that autopsy photos shouldn't be released in a similar case.
Newspapers sought access to the Earnhardt photos as questions arose over how he died in the 2001 crash and whether better safety equipment might have saved him.
The Orlando Sentinel and the Independent Alligator, an independent newspaper staffed by University of Florida students, had also sued for access to the photos. The Orlando Sentinel later reached an agreement with the Earnhardt family that allowed an independent medical examiner to view the photographs.
The Alligator pursued the case, but was blocked by the Florida law and lost its court challenges.