According to a report from USA Today, a Georgia family has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor who allegedly decapitated an infant by using far too much physical force when the infant got stuck during the delivery. It is a terrible and horrific tragedy for the family. Within this article, our Georgia medical malpractice attorney explains what we know about this lawsuit and provides an overview of the standard for medical malpractice in birth injury claims in Georgia.
Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Allegations: Infant Killed Due to Gross Negligence By Doctor
Jessica Ross—a 20-year-old plaintiff—is in the process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against Dr. Tracey St. Julian, Premier Women’s OBGYN LLC, and the Southern Regional Medical Center. The facility is located in Riverdale in Clayton County, just south of Atlanta. As stated in the lawsuit, her infant died of complications that occurred during the birth on July 9th, 2023. Ms. Ross and her family allege gross negligence on the part of the doctor and the hospital.
Notably, the plaintiff was denied a cesarean section (C-section) despite making several requests. During the delivery, the infant became stuck in the birth canal. The medical malpractice lawsuit contends that the doctor was grossly negligent and extremely reckless in using excessive physical force. Tragically, the infant was apparently decapitated. It took another three hours for the requested C-section to be performed, but by then the infant tragically had no heartbeat.
For its part, the Southern Regional Medical Center denies any wrongdoing but declined to provide any additional specific information citing its policy regarding ongoing litigation. Notably, USA Today confirmed the infant’s death is also being investigated by the Clayton County Police Department.
An Overview of Georgia Law on Birth Injuries (Medical Malpractice)
For expecting parents, the birth of a child is stressful. The last thing any parent wants to think about is something going wrong during the delivery that could result in injuries, medical complications, or worse for the infant or the mother. A physician, hospital, and other health providers may be legally liable for a birth injury on the grounds of medical malpractice. In some cases, multiple parties may share legally responsible for a birth injury. For example, both a doctor and the hospital where they had admitting privileges could bear fault. Here is an overview of Georgia law:
- Statute of Limitations: Georgia has specific time frames within which a malpractice lawsuit must be filed. For the most part, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from the date the injury or death occurred. However, in cases of birth injuries, Georgia law allows a claim to be made until the child reaches the age of seven.
- Medical Malpractice is Professional Negligence (Birth Injuries): Medical malpractice in Georgia refers to instances when a healthcare provider, through a negligent act or omission, causes injury to a patient. The negligence might arise from errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. A birth injury is broadly defined as any physical or mental harm sustained by a newborn during the labor and delivery process.
- Expert Affidavit Requirement: For any type of medical malpractice claim in Georgia, the complainant must file an expert affidavit alongside the lawsuit. The affidavit should be from a medical expert who can attest that the defendant failed to provide the standard of care, leading to the birth injury.
- Families Have the Right to Seek Compensation: In Georgia, if a child suffers a birth injury due to medical malpractice or negligence, the affected family can pursue a legal claim for compensation. The compensation awarded in a birth injury claim can cover various damages to help address the direct and indirect consequences of the injury. Parents can seek financial compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation and therapy costs, specialized equipment and home modifications, loss of long-term earning capacity, pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, parental emotional distress, and wrongful death of an infant.
Consult With Our Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
At Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King, PC, our Georgia medical malpractice lawyers have the professional expertise to take on the full range of birth injury claims. We are committed to fighting for the rights of parents and families. For a free, strictly confidential consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us today and give us a call at 678-726-5541. From our legal offices in Atlanta and Augusta, our medical malpractice attorneys fight for the rights and interests of victims and families throughout Georgia.