Having a baby can be chaotic, especially for first-time parents. Anything could go wrong, and many things do go wrong. Last year, a delivery ended with the baby losing its head, and the parents are out for blood – legally.
There was no axe on the scene, but a medical examiner is classifying the baby’s demise as a homicide. Attorneys for the Georgia couple involved made the announcement on Wednesday, February 7.
Treveon Taylor Jr.’s parents have sued the hospital and the doctor who delivered the baby in July. They have both denied wrongdoing. According to the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office, the immediate cause of the baby’s death was a broken neck.
They also revealed that human action was to blame, according to an office statement distributed at a news conference Wednesday. The boy’s parents, Jessica Ross and Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr. say Dr. Tracey St. Julian delayed a surgical procedure.
He also did not seek help quickly when things got sensitive during delivery. Instead, they say she chose to apply excessive force to the baby’s head and neck.
“This is something that is clearly contraindicated,” their attorney Roderick Edmond, who also doubles as a physician, said Wednesday. “No credible, no reasonably competent obstetrician should ever do this.”
Attorneys for St. Julian have rejected the finding that suggests the baby’s injury happened before death. They admit that it is a tragic outcome. But also point out that there are records of this happening in medical literature.
They say that it can happen in the absence of any wrongdoing by the physician and that it is the case here. Scott Bailey, one of the attorneys, said in a court filing from September that the doctor tried “every maneuver a reasonable obstetrician would have employed” to deliver the baby when its shoulder got trapped.
Bailey’s filing also asserted that the trauma to the baby’s head and neck happened after death, as they tried to deliver the fetus by cesarean and save Ross’s life. It accused attorneys for Ross and Taylor Sr. of making “salaciously false public statements” to the contrary.
The hospital where the baby’s delivery happened, Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Georgia, also claims that the baby died in utero. The hospital denied any negligence in a court filing in November, and spokesperson Melinda Fulks said she couldn’t comment Wednesday because of the lawsuit.
Clayton County police were looking into the case, with the possibility of referring the case to prosecutors, the medical examiner’s office said in its January 6 news release.
Clayton police Major Frank Thomas said in an email Wednesday the case was still under investigation. He also said the department will not comment on details of active cases.
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