Family of Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr.
Jessica Ross claims her baby was decapitated during delivery at an Atlanta-area hospital.
A mother who claims her baby was decapitated during delivery at a Georgia hospital last month filed a lawsuit against the hospital and others involved in the delivery on Wednesday, according to court records.
The complaint, filed in Clayton County, Georgia, alleges that Southern Regional Medical Center attempted to hide the nature of the baby’s death from family, including the mother, 20-year-old Jessica Ross, and her boyfriend, Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr. , to keep secret.
The medical center is located in Riverdale, approximately 13 miles south of downtown Atlanta. According to the family’s lawyer, the baby, named after his father, was delivered at term.
The county medical examiner’s office has not released the baby’s cause of death. The office is still working to complete the baby’s autopsy, the office’s director, Brian Byars, told CNN.
According to the lawsuit, Ross went into labor on July 9 and her doctor “attempted to deliver the baby vaginally using various methods, including applying traction to the baby’s head.”
During the delivery attempt, “the baby did not descend properly due to shoulder dystocia,” the lawsuit states.
The doctor “failed to practice according to medical standards,” the complaint says. The complaint says the doctor “grossly” and “negligently applied excessive traction” to the baby’s head and neck and “failed to timely and properly perform a cesarean section, resulting in the decapitation and death of Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr..” .” .”
In a statement to CNN Wednesday afternoon, Southern Regional Medical Center said it “denies the allegations in the complaint that relate to the hospital.”
When Ross and Taylor “wanted to see and hold their baby, hospital staff told them they were not allowed to touch or hold their child,” according to a statement from the family’s spokesperson.
“Hospital staff allowed the young couple to only see their dead child,” the family spokesman said in a statement.
“During this viewing, her baby was tightly wrapped in a blanket with his head resting on his body in such a way that viewers could not tell that he had been decapitated,” the statement said.
On Thursday, the Clayton County coroner told CNN in a statement that his office was asking state officials to investigate the incident. Byars said his office has contacted the Georgia Composite Medical Board and asked that it also investigate the role of three doctors in this incident.
He added that the office is also in the process of notifying the Georgia Secretary of State Office of Nursing “and will request that they also investigate the nursing staff’s role in this incident.”
Southern Regional Medical Center said it is “unable to discuss the care and treatment of specific patients” due to patient privacy laws and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
“Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family and everyone affected by this tragic event,” the medical center’s statement said. “Our prayers also go out to the dedicated team of doctors, nurses and staff at Southern Regional Medical Center who cared for this patient. Our goal is to provide compassionate, quality care to each and every patient and this loss is heartbreaking.”
“As this matter is a legal proceeding, we will refrain from providing further information,” the statement said.
The doctor involved in the delivery was not an employee of the hospital, the statement said. “The hospital has taken appropriate action in response to this unfortunate situation,” the statement said.
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, negligence on the part of the defendants, which include the medical center and the doctor, Dr. Tracey St. Julian belongs, asserted. CNN’s attempts to reach St. Julian at her private practice were unsuccessful.
The lawsuit calls for a jury trial and the plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages, including for the value of the baby’s life, such as loss of lifetime earnings, and funeral costs and expenses.
The county medical examiner’s office expects a statement on its findings Thursday, Byers said.