A Georgia woman, Taylor Hogan, is suing the local jail in Cobb County and WellStar Health System for the death of her newborn son, born while she was incarcerated. According to news reports, she sued claiming her federal civil rights were violated under the fifth, eighth, and 14th amendments, and also for medical malpractice (https://www.sclawpc.com/). She is also suing for wrongful acts, pain and suffering, inadequate training, attorney’s fees and punitive damages. She is seeking more than $10,000 in damages from WellStar, a physician’s assistant working there, and the Cobb County Sherriff’s Office. The suit was filed in the Northern District of Georgia at the end of April.
Ms. Hogan was arrested on August 3, 2010 on charges of felony theft of receiving a firearm and misdemeanor violation of probation. She was incarcerated until September 10. The lawsuit claims that when she was booked, she told the jail nurse that she was 23 weeks pregnant. She was given a pregnancy test to confirm it and then put on prenatal care.
On August 9 at about 6pm, she alleges that she started having cramps and told a deputy sheriff, who advised her to lie down. She was still in pain so she was taken to the infirmary at 11pm, where she claims she was left in the hallway throwing up and crying. At about 12:55am, she delivered a baby boy prematurely and without assistance in the bathroom, causing the baby to hit his head on the concrete floor. The suit goes on to allege the medical staff at the jail simply put the infant on top of Ms. Hogan without even cutting the umbilical cord and left the baby gasping for breath. Mother and baby were taken to WellStar Cobb Hospital in Austell within the next hour. Doctors there told Ms. Hogan that her son, named Savante Hopkins Jr., would not live. He died with his mother at his side in the hospital at 9:55am the next morning.
In the Georgia medical malpractice and civil rights case, Ms. Hogan states that the Cobb County Jail staff violated her eighth amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment by not providing any treatment to her before or after the birth. She claims the staff knew her condition was deteriorating and they did nothing to assist her or the struggling child. Ms. Hogan is claiming the medical staff at WellStar was negligent for failing to follow the proper procedure after her delivery. The Cobb County Board of Health was supposed to provide nurses for the jail, so there is potential to add them to the litigation as well.
Ms. Hogan says she wants to make sure other incarcerated women get proper medical care and assistance if they are pregnant in jail.
As this case demonstrates medical malpractice can occur in various settings, even when one is incarcerated. If someone in your family has been the victim of Georgia or Atlanta medical malpractice, the attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter, PC can assist you with how to move forward in the legal system. Call us today at 404-991-5950, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
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