Monica Thompson files an $8.6m lawsuit against an Oregon hospital after accidentally smothering her newborn baby, alleging culpability in the child’s death.
Monica Thompson has filed an $8.6 million lawsuit against a Portland, Oregon hospital after ‘accidentally’ smothering her then 4 day old baby in 2012 while in bed heavily sedated. Her suit alleges that the death was preventable and that she should have never been left alone in her condition with the newborn child.
The lawsuit, filed Friday, claims Portland Adventist Medical Center was negligent in medicating Thompson and leaving her unsupervised with her infant son, Jacob, for a session of late-night breastfeeding in her hospital bed, KATU reported.
Four days earlier, on August 2, 2012, the then 42 year old Thompson had given birth to a healthy boy via C-section, with the boy taken to a nursery three days later so his mother could recover.
In her suit, Thompson told of the hospital that night giving her a ‘combination of narcotic pain killers and sleep aids’ around midnight, with a nurse returning to her room with Jacob around 3 a.m.
About an hour later, the breastfeeding mother was ‘still drowsy and groggy’ when she realized her son had stopped moving.
Notes the suit, ‘She called for a nurse while she tried to get him to respond,’
Adding, ‘… She poked him and talked to him with no reaction. When no nurse came to help, Mrs. Thompson carried her son to the hallway and frantically yelled for help.’
It was determined that the infant suffered severe brain damage with the boy’s parents removing Jacob from life support six days later, Oregon Live reported.
A spokesperson from the hospital declined to comment on its policy about newborns sharing beds with their mothers.
Nevertheless it did release a statement with people saying, ‘Adventist Medical Center is committed to providing quality, compassionate care to all of our patients. We are reviewing the claims being made and we are unable to provide any additional information at this time.’
Told the mother in a statement via people, ‘Jacob was a true miracle baby,’
Adding, ‘My firstborn and only son. I am sharing our story in the hopes that no mother or family will ever have to suffer through a tragedy such as this. What happened to us could’ve easily been prevented had the nurses been doing their job.’
‘I am Jacob’s voice in making sure his life won’t be in vain.’
The lawsuit, which further alleges negligence on the part of the hospital for not having clear policies on the matter, seeks damages for the baby’s ‘desperation and anxiety’ while he was suffocated and for his mother’s ‘severe emotional distress upon unintentionally killing her firstborn child.’
While the tragedy of Jacob’s death can’t be underscored, some commentators on the web wondered how it was even possible the mother was able to breastfeed while on narcotics in the first place, implying it was her own fault and not the medications that led to her smothering the boy.
Never mind the unlikeliness of any hospital allowing a mother to breastfeed with narcotics in their system. Unless of course, Thompson wasn’t on the narcotics and sedatives she claimed she was or the hospital egregiously erred by allowing her to breastfeed under the influence in the first place?
Asked why it took five years before bringing a suit forward, Thompson’s lawyer, Diego Conde, said the lapse was due to Thompson taking years to emotionally recover from the tragedy.
Told the lawyer, ‘It has taken Monica and the family all this time to finally come to the conclusion that something went wrong, and they were not to blame.’
Tragically Jacob’s death came after the Thompsons struggled with infertility for 12 years before they became pregnant with Jacob in 2012.
The Thompsons are now parents to a toddler daughter.