Tennis umpire falsely accused of killing husband goes after LA coroner in lawsuit

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Tennis umpire Lois Goodman is suing the Los Angeles County coroner for falsely accusing her of murdering her husband. (KABC)

Tennis umpire Lois Goodman was very publicly arrested and falsely accused of killing her husband, proclaimed her lawyer in opening statements Wednesday.

Her federal lawsuit asserts that her reputation was ruined by a murder investigation that was triggered by Los Angeles County Coroner Dr. Yulai Wang, that he falsely and maliciously made a finding that Alan Goodman's death was a homicide.

Goodman had been officiating a series of matches at Pierce College and returned home on April 17 to find her husband's body in a pool of blood in the couple's bed.

Responding paramedics theorized that the 80-year-old man who was in ill health had fallen on a ceramic mug, then returned to his bed where he bled to death.

The defense for Wang, a 20-year veteran coroner with L.A. County, says his examination revealed evidence that Mr. Goodman did not fall. There were no broken bones or dislocation of joints typically associated with an 80-year-old man falling. He also noted deep incision wounds to the bone on Alan Goodman's head which indicate slicing motion under pressure. Goodman's ear was almost severed. Two wounds on the face crossed each other indicating blows that could not have happened at the same time.

"There is not one falsehood, not one misstatement in this autopsy report," said Wang's attorney, Rickey Ivey, in opening statements.

Lois Goodman meantime says she grieves for her husband and the arrest hurt her ability to find work. She spoke to Eyewitness News before the trial.

A battle of the experts is looming in the coming week. Several coroners have been called to review Wang's findings.

Thirty-nine witnesses are named in the federal lawsuit. Wang will testify in his defense. Lois Goodman is set to take the stand as well.
Related Topics:
lawsuitwrongfully accusedhomicideWoodland HillsLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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