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Image of a Newborn and Mother Holding Hands
Newborn and Mother Holding Hands; image courtesy of Aditya Romansa via Unsplash, https://unsplash.com

After experiencing the tragic loss of her newborn daughter, Angela Marchant has decided to file a wrongful death lawsuit against St. Charles Health System, seeking $9 million in damages. The lawsuit itself was filed late last month on January 23 in Deschutes County Circuit Court shortly after her daughter, Grace Louise Marchant-Hubbs, died “at the St. Charles Family Birthing Center in Bend.” In addition to naming the hospital as a defendant, the suit also names “Bend OB-GYN Mary Jane Davis as a co-defendant,” and claims “she was often unaware of Marchant’s condition throughout her difficult childbirth and was frequently absent or late in arriving.”

What happened, though? How did the child lose her life? What role did the hospital and Davis play? Well, according to the lawsuit “Marchant was admitted to St. Charles on July 22, 2016, due to the slow progression of labor and delivery.” The lawsuit claims that “at or around the beginning of defendant Dr. Davis’ shift, plaintiff Angela’s amniotic membranes had been ruptured for many hours.” Eventually Marchant “began bleeding and Davis is said to have not returned timely to examine plaintiff Angela or plaintiffs’ baby,” according to court documents.

Image of an Operating Room
Operating Room; image courtesy of Piron Guillaume via Unsplash, https://unsplash.com

Things didn’t get better from there. Instead, the baby’s “heart began beating rapidly and she started showing significant signs of distress” in the evening, so much so that around 9:30 p.m., July 23, Davis “told Marchant an immediate cesarean section was needed to deliver the baby.” A half-hour later Grace was born, “following another delay, this time as consent forms were processed.According to the lawsuit, “during that 30-minute delay, plaintiffs’ baby continued to experience significant tachycardia and significant oxygen deprivation.”

Unfortunately, upon being born, Grace needed immediate resuscitation “and was admitted to the St. Charles neonatal intensive care unit,” but it was too late. The infant never regained consciousness and, after two days of showing “no signs of brain activity, she was removed from life support.”

As if the emotional and tragic loss of her newborn daughter wasn’t enough, Marchant and her family “incurred medical expenses of $300,000 related to the birth, while funeral and burial expenses totaled an additional $4,700.”

When commenting on the lawsuit, Marchant’s attorney, Larry Sokol, said: “This is a significant tragedy for this family and everyone involved.”

So how did the hospital respond to the lawsuit? Well, so far a representative for St. Charles “declined to comment, citing a company policy against discussing pending litigation.”

Sources:

Two-day childbirth results in wrongful death lawsuit against St. Charles

Bend woman sues over newborn’s death following 2-day birth

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