She was declared brain dead after two tests indicated that she showed "no cerebral activity." After the family filed suit to keep her on a ventilator, the chief of child neurology for the Stanford University School of Medicine confirmed the finding.
Family attorney Chris Dolan emailed Judge Evilio Grillo on Sept. 24 to say he had new information and would seek a reversal of the brain death determination.
Brain death is defined as total cessation of all neurological activity in the brain, including the brain stem.
In a preliminary analysis, Grillo wrote that an administrative process exists to seek an amendment or reversal of a death certificate and might be a more appropriate avenue.
But he also noted: "The fact that this court made a finding of brain death based on the evidence presented in December 2013 would not appear to prevent this court, or some other court, or the California Department of Public Health from reaching a different conclusion based on new facts."
"We are aware that attorneys for Jahi McMath's family are seeking to challenge a ruling from last year by Judge Evelio Grillo that Jahi McMath was deceased, as well as challenge the January 2014 death certificate issued by the Alameda County coroner," the statement said. "We trust that the California courts, the Alameda County coroner and the state of California will evaluate any claims made by the family's attorneys and decide them in a lawful and just manner."