The Victorian Coroner will investigate the deaths of eight people who died as a result of 'thunderstorm asthma' last month, the ABC has reported. The deaths occurred following initial breathing difficulties experienced by a large number of Victorians, causing 8,500 people to seek hospital treatment.
A Coroner's role is to investigate'unnatural' and'unexpected' deaths - which is any death that is not a result of natural causes. In this issue, the Coroner's focus is the 'systemic issues' and ways in which similar events may be avoided in the future.
The Coroner must determine the identity of the deceased, the cause of death and the circumstances of the death. Sometimes coronial inquests are required for such findings to be made. Inquests are public hearings held in the Coroner's Court, where interested parties (including family members) can be legally represented. Inquests occur in approximately 5% of all deaths investigated by the Coroner.
Persons attending a Coronial Inquest can choose to bring legal representation.
If you require further information about Coronial Investigations or Inquests, call (03) 9321 9988.