A lawsuit has been filed against Southern Regional Medical Center in Georgia and other parties involved in a delivery that allegedly resulted in the decapitation of a newborn. The mother, Jessica Ross, 20, and her boyfriend, Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr., claim that the hospital attempted to hide the circumstances of their baby’s death.
The lawsuit was filed in Clayton County, where the medical center is located, approximately 13 miles south of downtown Atlanta. The baby, named Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr. after his father, was delivered at full term, according to the family’s attorney.
The cause of the baby’s death has not yet been released by the county medical examiner’s office, which is still working on the autopsy. The lawsuit alleges that Ross went into labor on July 9, and her doctor, Dr. Tracey St. Julian, attempted a vaginal delivery using various methods, including applying traction to the baby’s head.
The lawsuit states that the baby did not properly descend due to shoulder dystocia, a condition where a baby’s shoulders become lodged in the vaginal canal. The complaint accuses the physician of failing to adhere to medical standards, alleging that the doctor applied excessive traction to the baby’s head and neck and did not perform a Cesarean section in a timely and appropriate manner, leading to the baby’s decapitation and death.
Southern Regional Medical Center has denied the allegations in the complaint. The family’s spokesperson stated that when Ross and Taylor asked to see and hold their baby, they were told by hospital staff that they were not allowed to touch or hold their child. The couple was only allowed to view their deceased child, who was tightly wrapped in a blanket with his head positioned in a way that concealed the decapitation. The couple was encouraged to cremate the baby and discouraged to get an autopsy.
The funeral home was the one that brought awareness regarding the decapitation. According to their lawyer, it was after the funeral home spoke up that Dr. St. Julian then told the family what actually happened.
The hospital stated that it could not discuss the care and treatment of specific patients due to patient privacy laws and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The hospital expressed its condolences to the family and its commitment to providing compassionate, quality care to all patients. The hospital also clarified that the physician involved in the delivery was not an employee of the hospital.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants, including the medical center and the physician, Dr. Tracey St. Julian, of negligence. The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial and monetary damages, including compensation for the value of the baby’s life, funeral and burial costs, and more. The county medical examiner’s office is expected to release a statement about its findings soon.