Police are investigating after a wrongful death lawsuit was filed alleging a baby was decapitated during delivery earlier this summer in Georgia and the hospital staff conspired to cover it up, according to authorities.
One of the baby’s shoulders allegedly became stuck – called shoulder dystocia – during the delivery. The doctor reportedly tried several different methods to complete the delivery before opting for a Cesarean section about three hours later, according to WAGA.
The baby’s body and legs were delivered via C-section, but the head was delivered vaginally, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims Dr. Tracey St. Julian, the OB/GYN, spoke to Ross and her family about five hours later and didn’t mention the decapitation. It also states the hospital encouraged Ross and the baby’s father, 21-year-old Treveon Taylor, to have the baby cremated and skip an autopsy, WAGA reported.
The couple requested to see and hold the baby, according to the lawsuit. The hospital staff brought them the baby tightly wrapped in a blanket with his head “propped on top of his body,” allegedly hiding the decapitation, WAGA reported, citing the lawsuit.
The family only learned about the decapitation from the funeral home, the lawsuit claims.
In a press conference, the family’s attorney, Cory Lynch, said, “They were so excited about the birth of their first child. Unfortunately, their dreams and hopes turned into a nightmare that was covered up by Southern Regional Medical Center,” the Associated Press reported.
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The lawsuit was filed on Aug. 9 and claims St. Julian “grossly negligently applied excessive traction” on the baby’s head and neck and failed to do a C-section “in a timely and proper manner,” WAGA reported.
The lawsuit also names Premier Womens’ OB-GYN LLC, stating they are “liable for the grossly negligent acts and omissions of its employee and/or agent” and accuses several nurses of failing to follow proper procedures.
In the lawsuit, the family is seeking compensation for the suffering and death of the child, as well as Ross’s “tremendous mental and physical anguish and trauma,” WAGA reported. They are also asking for damages for the full value of the baby’s life, including potential loss of earnings and loss of enjoyment of life.
According to the AP, the hospital said they couldn’t discuss patient treatment but denied the allegations in the lawsuit. They said St. Julian wasn’t a hospital employee and they have “taken the appropriate steps in response to this unfortunate situation,” but declined to elaborate.
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