Georgia couple sue doctor after their newborn baby was ‘decapitated’ during delivery
A couple from Georgia, America are suing their doctor for excessive force which allegedly decapitated their baby during delivery. Dr Tracey St Julian is being sued by first-time parents Jessica Ross, 20, and Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr, 21, whose son died at Southern Regional Hospital after a complicated birth.
Several nurses at the hospital are also being sued for allegedly trying to cover up the decapitation by propping their son up in a way that made it appear that his head was still attached, concealing the incident. The couple’s lawyers have claimed that Dr St Julian had been too forceful during the birth, which resulted in the baby being decapitated.
A member of the family’s legal team, Cory Lynch, said the couple 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.”
Both the Medical Examiner’s office and Clayton County Police are investigating the case after being made aware just four days after the baby was born on July 9. A statement from the attorney alleges that Dr St Julian attempted to deliver the baby vaginally using different methods, including “applying traction to the baby’s head.”
The baby was unable to be delivered vaginally after Jessica Ross experienced shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s head had been born but their shoulders became stuck in the birth canal. Lawyer Roderick Edmond, who is representing the parents, but is also a doctor alleged: “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 head, and manipulated them so hard, that the bones of the baby’s skull, face, and neck were broken.”
Edmond also alleged: “When the womb was opened, the feet came out, the body came out and there was no head.” The lawsuit has also claimed that Dr St Julian, a board-certified obstetrician and gynaecologist, did not proceed with a caesarean section within an appropriate time, despite being requested by the couple.
Both parents attended a news conference on Wednesday, August 9 in Atlanta, Georgia, where the lawyers announced the lawsuit against Dr St Julian and Southern Regional Medical Centre, in Riverdale.
A member of the legal team alleged in graphic detail the measures staff had taken to cover up the incident, which included wrapping the baby’s body in a blanket and propping his head up to make it look like it was still attached. Mr Lynch, part of the legal team, also claimed that medical staff had failed to report the incident.
According to the lawsuit both Miss Ross and Mr Taylor did not learn what had happened to their son whilst making arrangements for his funeral at the crematorium, four days after his death.
Prime Healthcare Services, who own the hospital, have since released a statement that said its “heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those impacted by this tragic event. Our commitment is to provide compassionate, quality care to every single patient and this loss is heart-breaking.”
They also added that Dr St Julian was not an employee of the hospital, and that it had “taken the appropriate steps in response to this unfortunate situation”.
The lawsuit has alleged gross negligence, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The family is seeking unspecified compensatory damages, which would be in addition to covering the cost of the baby’s $10,000 funeral.
Lawyers have also said that the case highlights the higher rates of infant mortality for black women. Dr St Julian is yet to file her defence and has not issued a public statement.