An Atlanta hospital named in a lawsuit regarding the decapitation of a baby during childbirth has denied the allegations and said the infant’s death occurred “in utero prior to the delivery and decapitation.”
According to the lawsuit filed in Clayton County, 20-year-old Jessica Ross went to Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Georgia, on July 9 after her water broke, and the baby, named Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr., reportedly became stuck due to shoulder dystocia, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.
Dr. Tracy St. Julian allegedly tried for hours to deliver the child vaginally before deciding to perform a Cesarean section, the lawsuit states, adding that the baby’s body was delivered, but the head was delivered vaginally.
The lawsuit claims that St. Julian did not inform Ross and the baby’s father, Treveon Taylor Sr., about the decapitation, and that the hospital discouraged them from seeking an autopsy. The family was ultimately told about the decapitation by the funeral home, according to the family’s lawyer.
The hospital issued a statement in response to the lawsuit, claiming that “this unfortunate infant death occurred in utero prior to the delivery and decapitation.” The hospital also countered the couple’s claim that it attempted to hide information, stating it “voluntarily reported the death to the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s office and is cooperating with all investigations.”
The hospital has also claimed the doctor who delivered the baby, Dr. St. Julian, is not and “never has been” an employee of the hospital.
However, media outlet 11Alive said she “did have privileges at Southern Regional Medical Center when the incident took place.”
CBS News reported that the couple’s lawyers described the incident as gross negligence and accused the hospital and several nurses of covering up what happened.
“When the womb was opened, the feet came out, the body came out, and there was no head,” Dr. Roderick Edmond, one of the couple’s lawyers, was quoted as saying. “Dr. St. Julian came in, and she, in the process of trying to deliver the baby, pulled on the baby’s head and neck so hard, and manipulated them so hard, that the bones of the baby’s skull, face, and neck were broken.”
Edmond added, “When they wrapped this baby up tightly, they propped the baby’s head up on top of the blanket to make it appear that the baby’s head was attached, when it wasn’t.”
The Clayton County Police Department told local media outlets that they have opened an investigation into the baby’s death. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation performed an autopsy but has not launched an investigation.
The Clayton County Medical Examiner’s office also released a statement saying it was notified by the funeral home of the infant’s death on July 13, the same day it was reported to the medical examiner’s office.
The investigation is ongoing.
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