by David Madden
EGG HARBOR TWP, NJ (CBS) — A lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey Superior Court seeking not money, but a change in a death certificate for a college bound woman found dead along train tracks a year ago.READ MORE: SEPTA Releases Guide For Riders In Event Of Strike: Here's What You Need To Know
18-year-old Tiffany Valiante had everything to live for. She had just graduated from high school and was about to attend college on a full sports scholarship playing volleyball. She was found along New Jersey Transit tracks, barefoot without her shorts, about 4 miles from her Mays Landing home.
NJT conducted a probe and concluded it was a suicide. The Medical Examiner agreed.
Valiante’s family would beg to differ.
“No one should accept the Medical Examiner’s finding, clearly unsupported by facts, that Tiffany’s death was a suicide,” she told KYW Newsradio during a meeting with the family’s attorney.READ MORE: DA Larry Krasner Announces New Initiative To Fight Gun Violence In West/Southwest Philadelphia
Paul D’Amato is taking on the case pro bono, and seeks access to additional information that could lead to a civil suit, or maybe criminal charges. But at the very least, he wants to change the manner of death from suicide to undetermined.
“This was a classic rush to judgment,” he said, “and even an average attorney would have done a better job investigating the circumstances into what happened here compared to what New Jersey Transit did.”
D’Amato has examined a case file from the Atlantic County Prosecutor and talked to more than 30 family members and friends before filing the action.
“That file was basically what New Jersey Transit had investigated, but if that’s the entire investigation, then it’s horrible,” D’Amato added.MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed In Neck, Killed In Southwest Philadelphia, Police Say
The suit was filed against the New Jersey Attorney General, whose office is responsible for medical examiners across the state. No comment from them or New Jersey Transit.