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Lawsuits & Litigation

Florida Couple Files Lawsuit After Hospital Lost Newborn’s Body

— August 7, 2020

Kathryn and Travis Wilson, a couple from Florida, is suing St. Joseph’s Hospital for allegedly losing the body of their newborn son.

Losing a child is one of the hardest situations to go through as a parent, and even more so when you’re not allowed to put that child’s body to rest with a burial. This is precisely what happened to a grieving couple in Hillsborough County. As a result, the couple filed a suit against St. Joseph’s Hospital, accusing it of “losing their newborn son’s body.

Hospital bed in room; image by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia, via
Hospital bed in room; image by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia, via

What happened? How did such a thing happen? According to the lawsuit, the baby, Jacob Wilson was born on February 25 to Kathryn and Travis Wilson, a couple from Gibsonton. Three days after his birth, Jacob died. Shortly after his death, St. Joseph’s Hospital “retained custody and control of the baby’s body to facilitate an autopsy.” In doing so, the hospital “took the baby’s body to the Orlando Regional Medical Center to have the autopsy performed.

When March 5 rolled around, the hospital called Mrs. Wilson and told her that Jacob’s body “had returned from autopsy and was back in Tampa.” Unfortunately, on March 11, the hospital contacted her again and told her that the hospital “could not find the baby’s body,” according to the suit. The suit argued that, at the time of the baby’s disappearance, the hospital “had exclusive custody and control over the baby’s body.” As a result, the grieving couple is accusing the hospital of “negligence and reckless infliction of emotional distress due to the hospital’s inability to locate the baby’s body.”

When asked about the incident, the hospital released the following statement:

“Since first learning that Jacob Wilson’s remains were missing, St. Joseph’s Hospital has investigated all avenues and fully cooperated in all search efforts in the hope that they could be found. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Wilsons for the loss of their child. We also deeply regret not being able to account for the remains. St. Joseph’s leadership and all personnel in our morgues are committed that this unforeseen situation will not happen again.”

Doug Burnetti, the couple’s attorney, chimed in and said the statement from the hospital was the “first time the couple received anything close to an apology.” He added:

“In reading the hospital’s statement, this is the first time that the family’s heard anything close to an apology. We stand by our allegations of our complaint that the behavior is outrageous and shocking and we believe that any reasonable person would agree with that.”


Lawsuit: Grieving couple says St. Joseph’s Hospital lost baby’s body

Couple sues St. Joseph’s Hospital for losing the body of their newborn baby

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