Hospital sends stillborn to cleaners

January 23, 2008 11:01:06 AM PST
A couple filed a lawsuit against a hospital alleging that it sent their stillborn fetus's body with dirty laundry to the cleaners. The Huguley Memorial Medical Center of Fort Worth staff took 19 hours to find the missing body, which was unpreserved and by then had been crushed and disfigured, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Kourtney McGee of Cleburne went to Huguley in July because she was bleeding in her second trimester, then gave birth to Jacob Dwayne Robinson. According to the lawsuit, staff told McGee and the father, Milburn "Pete" Robinson of Alvarado, that the body would be taken the morgue.

But when the funeral director arrived, he was told the body could not be found. Hospital staff eventually determined that the body was sent to a commercial cleaner with the laundry, according to the lawsuit.

"How could this happen, that these parents lost their child, lost their son - then the hospital doesn't have a procedure or policy in place for dealing with it?" the couple's attorney John David Hart told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The lawsuit alleges gross negligence by Huguley, and says the family has suffered emotional distress and mental anguish. It seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Dallas attorney Michael Stewart, who is representing Huguley, denied the allegations and said the hospital did nothing inappropriate.

"Our sympathies go to a family obviously who had a stillborn situation. Everyone feels bad about that," Stewart said. He declined to release more information because of the pending litigation.


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