WARNING: The details of this story are graphic. Read at your own risk.
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. – Police are now investigating after a lawsuit alleging a baby was decapitated during delivery on July 9 was filed in Clayton County against Southern Regional Medical Center and others.
According to the complaint, 20-year-old Jessica Ross’s water broke at 10 a.m. July 9 and she went to the emergency department at Prime Healthcare Service, Inc. d/b/a Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale.
At approximately 8:40 p.m., Ross was fully dilated and instructed to begin pushing. The complaint says the baby stopped descending due to shoulder dystocia while being delivered vaginally and Dr. Tracey St. Julian, M.D., reportedly attempted to deliver the baby vaginally using different methods, including applying traction to the baby’s head.
Dr. St. Julian reportedly decided to perform a STAT Cesarean section at approximately 11:49 p.m. The baby’s body and legs were delivered at 12:11 a.m. and the baby’s head was delivered vaginally.
The lawsuit claims that Dr. St. Julian did not tell Ross and her family about the decapitation when she spoke to them at approximately 5 a.m. July 10. The lawsuit also claims that the hospital discouraged Ross and the baby’s father, Treveon Taylor, from seeking an autopsy, saying a free autopsy was not an option for them under the circumstances. Instead, they reportedly encouraged the couple to have their son cremated instead of being sent to a funeral home.
When, Ross and Taylor demanded to see and hold their child, the baby was reportedly tightly wrapped in a blanket with his head “propped on top of his body” to conceal the fact that he was decapitated.
The family was ultimately told about the decapitation by the funeral home, according to the family’s lawyer.
The lawsuit alleges Dr. St. Julian failed to practice according to medical standards when she “grossly negligently applied excessive traction on Treveon Isiah Taylor Jr.’s head and neck and grossly negligently failed to do a Cesarean section in a timely and proper manner, resulting in Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr.’s decapitation and death.”
The lawsuit also says Premier Womens’ OB/GYN, LLC, is “liable for the grossly negligent acts and omissions of its employee and/or agent Tracey St. Julian, M.D., who cared for Ms. Jessica Ross and Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Jr. on or about July 9, 2023.”
Additionally, several nurses are also being accused of gross negligence because they reportedly did not follow proper procedures once it was determined that a shoulder dystocia had occurred. According to the complaint, the nurses “owed an independent duty” to the Ross and her baby.
The complaint is asking Ross and Taylor to be compensated for the suffering and death of the child and the “tremendous mental and physical anguish and trauma” experienced by Ross, who was awake while the doctor was attempting to remove the baby.
The complaint is also seeking to recover damages for the full value of the baby’s life, including loss of earnings and loss of enjoyment of life.
The couple is represented by attorneys Dr. Roderick Edmond and Keith Lindsay of Edmond & Lindsay, LLP along with attorney Cory Lynch of The Law Office of Cory J. Lynch, LLC.
The Clayton County Police Department confirmed they have opened an investigation into the baby’s death.
FOX 5 Atlanta is reaching out to the doctor and hospital for a statement.