Autopsy report obtained in death of Eastdale Mall worker

Reported by: Cody Holyoke - bio | email
Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - An autopsy report has officially determined the cause of death of an Eastdale Mall maintenance worker.

In the autopsy report obtained by WSFA 12 News, the Department of Forensic Sciences spelled it out in one cold, hard conclusion. 22-year old Nicholas Burdette died from a toxic level of cholorodifluoromethane, also known as Freon-22.

The chemical is well known to cause problems such as eliciting convulsive movements, possible respiratory collapse and even death when its in high concentrations.

Senior State Medical Examiner Dr. Alfredo Paredes writes that technicians found frothy, tan fluid in Burdette's lungs, fluid in his brain, and high amounts of the coolant in his bloodstream.

Back on June 20th, investigators found Burdette's body in a bathroom and a freon leak nearby at the mall's ice skating rink. OSHA continues to investigate the case.

Armed with a cause of death, the family of the young man is moving forward. The family is now in the midst of this wrongful death suit against the companies running Eastdale Mall and even the manufacturer of the ice rink's cooling system.

Still, the autopsy rules the young man's death as accidental, and the district attorney's office isn't conducting any type of criminal investigation.

WSFA 12 news contacted representatives from Eastdale Mall for comment. So far, we haven't received a response.

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