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Settlement After DNA Testing Questions

A forensic scientist who was fired after questioning a DNA testing approach used by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City has been awarded a $1 million settlement, the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, Marina Stajic had directed the toxicology laboratory at the medical examiner's office and was a member of the state forensics panel. As part of the panel, she voted to require the medical examiner's office to release the study it said it did that validated its low copy number DNA testing approach. As the Times notes, another state forensics panel member, criminal defense attorney Barry Scheck, had asked for the study to be released as cases involving such small DNA samples were appearing in the courtroom.

After being fired, Stajic sued and, the Times reports, the city settled with her earlier this week.

Stajic's lawyers argue, though, that the lawsuit indicates the city's medical examiner's office did not perform the validation study it said it did. The ME's office argues that the approach was well tested, the Times adds.