Saget family tries to stop release of more death probe info, after autopsy shows severe head trauma

One medical expert said injury was similar to that of being hit with "baseball bat"

Updated: February 16, 2022 - 12:38pm

The family of Bob Saget is attempting to block the release of more records related to the investigation into his death, as reported autopsy reports indicate the head trauma from which the comedian-actor died was much worse than originally said.

The 65-year-old Saget was found dead Jan. 9 in his Ritz-Carlton Orlando hotel room in Grande Lake, Florida, following a weekend of stand-up performances.

The family said at the time that authorities had determined Saget had mostly likely hit his head, "thought nothing of it and went to sleep." 

However an autopsy report released late last week shows Saget suffered a significant blow to the back of his head that fractured his skull and caused bleeding throughout his brain.

The medical examiner ruled that the death was accidental, and local authorities ruled there were no signs of foul play or illicit drugs or alcohol in Saget's system at the time of his death. 

However, the severity of the injury is raising question about how exactly Saget died. 

"This is significant trauma," Dr. Gavin Britz, the chair in neurosurgery at Houston Methodist, told The New York Times. "This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head, or who has fallen from 20 or 30 feet."

Other experts suggested to the news outlet that Saget was likely confused and knocked unconscious from the blow, instead of having "went to sleep."

Following the release of the complete autopsy report Friday, CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said, "When I first saw this, if I knew nothing else about what had happened, you would think this was maybe someone who had fallen down the stairs and had several impacts to the head or been unrestrained in a car accident."

The autopsy release prompted the  Orange County Sheriff's Department over the weekend to release a statement reiterating it does not suspect the comedian was murdered.

"We do not believe he was struck by anything," Sheriff John Mina said.

On Tuesday, Saget's family, including his widow and three daughters, filed a suit against the sheriff and the medical examiner's office requesting that some of the investigation records be kept private due to the graphic nature of how they describe the late comedian.

The family argues that the release of some of these records would cause them "irreparable harm in the form of extreme mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress."

"The facts of the investigation should be made public, but these materials should remain private out of respect for the dignity of Mr. Saget and his family," said an attorney for the family. "It's very simple – from a human and legal standpoint, the Saget family's privacy rights outweigh any public interest in disclosure of this sensitive information." 

The sheriff's department has not committed to complying to the request, saying, "While we are sensitive to the family's concerns about the right to privacy, that must be balanced with our commitment to transparency, compliance with the law, and the public's right to know."