The grieving parents of a newborn decapitated during delivery say they are still being traumatized by the handling of the child’s death.
Initially, the Georgia couple was upset with the hospital staff and the doctor who facilitated the botched birthing procedure. Now, they have concerns about the doctor they hired independently to perform an autopsy on their baby.
According to a lawsuit filed on Sept. 1 in Fulton County, the physician in question posted videos from the private autopsy of the infant on social media. Jessica Ross and Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr., from Clayton County, are now suing Dr. Jackson L. Gates, alleging that he caused them “mental and emotional pain and suffering” by sharing unauthorized images of their child’s deceased and decapitated body on Instagram.
The complaint says Ross and Taylor both experienced “feelings of shock, anger, humiliation, and outrage” after seeing the Instagram post that was published by the doctor on July 14 and on July 21.
It also said the two “had salt poured into their unfathomable emotional wounds” when Gates posted the images.
“Dr. Jackson Gates attempted to exploit our clients’ horrific loss to boost his own social media profile, without permission of the family,” the lawyers representing the couple said in the statement, according to Newsweek.
The videos posted of the child, named Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr., were from the postmortem examination of the baby. The lawsuit says Gates never received permission from the parents to video-record the examination.
The clips are said to have shown the examination “in graphic and grisly detail.” The complaint says that Gates removed the July 14 video, but a week later, posted two different videos on Instagram from the examination.
Cory Lynch, the lawyer for the couple, notes that between now and the first post, Gates’ Instagram page gained almost 3,000 followers. On July 14, he had 8,346, and now is circulating around 11,000.
The attorney also names Gates Rapid Diagnostic Laboratory of Atlanta, doing business as Medical Diagnostic Choices, in the lawsuit as defendants.
Ross and Taylor’s nightmare started on July 9, when Ross’ water broke, and she was rushed to Southern Regional Medical Center to give birth to her son.
The pregnancy was complicated by her Type 2 diabetes and her stature, standing at 4 feet 9 inches and weighing 200 pounds.
The initial lawsuit names Dr. Tracey L. St. Julian, along with six other Prime Healthcare Services/Southern Regional Medical Center doctors in metro Atlanta.
Ross attempted a natural birth for several hours, but the baby stopped progressing through the birth canal.
Dr. St. Julian noticed Ross was in crisis and attempted various methods, including applying forceful traction on the baby’s head, which would prove to be fatal. Several hours later, a STAT Cesarean section was initiated but wasn’t completed until approximately 3 a.m. the following day.
When the child was finally delivered, only his legs and body were delivered surgically, while the head was delivered vaginally.
“When Ms. Ross and Mr. Taylor demanded to see and hold their baby, hospital staff told them that they were not allowed to touch or hold their child,” a statement from attorneys for the couple says. “Hospital staff allowed the young couple to only view their dead child. During this viewing, their baby was wrapped tightly in a blanket with his head propped on top of his body in a manner such that those viewing him could not identify that he had been decapitated.”
Additionally, it is claimed that the hospital didn’t notify the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office until three days after the baby’s tragic death.
Clayton County police are still investigating the case.
Regarding the two lawsuits, the couple is seeking a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.