A former Tarrant County medical examiner who quit after dozens of errors were discovered in at least 27 of his autopsies has filed a lawsuit against his former boss and business partner.
Dr. Marc Krouse was initially suspended from autopsies in homicide cases in November 2020. He was placed on administrative leave four months later and left the office in April.
Its boss, Dr Nizam Peerwani, retired at the end of 2021 after more than 40 years in office.
Now Krouse is accusing Peerwani of secretly driving their business out of business. Krouse and Peerwani were not employed by Tarrant County and were hired through their company, Anatomic and Forensic Pathology Consultants, which no longer exists.
Peerwani did not respond to a call from Star-Telegram on Thursday evening. A message left for Krouse’s attorney, Donald Godwin, was not returned.
Allegations against Peerwani
Krouse alleged in the lawsuit that Peerwani dissolved Anatomical and forensic pathology consultants without Krouse’s knowledge or consent after misrepresenting their financial circumstances. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Tarrant County and does not say how much Krouse is seeking in damages.
Their professional relationship began in 1979 when Peerwani’s entity, MDPA, contracted with Tarrant County to perform autopsies. Peerwani, the chief medical examiner, hired Krouse to be his assistant medical examiner for MDPA.
In the early 1980s, according to the lawsuit, Peerwani and Krouse created the new 50/50 partnership, which continued to contract with Tarrant County. Their work included being called as expert witnesses during the trial, performing private autopsies for families and federal prisoners, and performing autopsies for counties.
During the early years of the anatomical and forensic pathology consultants, Peerwani struck a deal with Tarrant County officials: men could perform autopsies for their private work at county facilities as long as they were paying the county a per-case fee, according to the lawsuit. They would keep 60% of the revenue and Tarrant County got the rest.
Krouse did not consent to the new deal, according to the lawsuit.
They were not required to pay Tarrant County any percentage of their private practice work performed outside of county facilities. The income they earned from that work went into the business and was shared at the end of each month, according to the lawsuit.
But at some point, the lawsuit alleges, Peerwani began depositing the money into his own account and wrote wire transfers to anatomical and forensic pathology consultants.
Krouse learned much later that the company had gone bankrupt, according to the lawsuit.
In or around 2018, Peerwani dissolved the AFC without Krouse’s knowledge, according to the lawsuit. Krouse only learned of the dissolution in 2019, even though he owned 50% of the company.
The couple’s partnership began to come to an end when, in November 2020, Krouse was suspended after missing a bullet during the autopsy of a possible homicide victim. An internal audit later revealed dozens of errors in at least 27 cases, although most were deemed insignificant for the cases at the end. Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson asked the Dallas County Attorney to conduct a third-party review of all Krouse cases.
After the initial audit, Krouse announced he would retire and leave office in the spring of 2021.