Tennessee Family Sues Medical Facility, Doctors for Medical Malpractice

Tennessee Family Sues Medical Facility, Doctors for Medical MalpracticeA family in Dawnville, Tennessee, has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in Hamilton County Circuit court after their daughter, now almost two years old, allegedly suffered unnecessary damage to her intestinal system. The problems allegedly began after doctors at a Chattanooga hospital reportedly did not properly deliver the baby by cesarean section, the Dalton Daily Citizen reports.

According to the news source, mother Melissa Haley claims her daughter, Starla, was known to have obstructed and enlarged bowels while in utero, which had grown so large that doctors informed Haley that vaginal delivery could be hazardous and painful, the lawsuit states.

According to the University of California, San Francisco, there are several causes of enlarged bowels in utero, although most cases are thought to be caused by an atrasia, a small opening that forms at some location on the small intestine.

Medical experts at the university say that when a baby is known to have enlarged or obstructed bowels, as the Haleys' baby was determined to have, it should be born in a hospital with an intensive care nursery and a pediatric surgeon on hand.

The complaint alleges that instead, staff at the Erlanger Medical Center decided that Haley should deliver the baby traditionally, without a C-section, after she had already gone into labor, despite what the doctor had originally planned.

The Citizen reports Brandon Haley, Melissa's husband, claims the vaginal birth led to a series of events that ultimately resulted in their daughter having to undergo several surgeries, one of which resulted in loss of intestines, a condition that requires the baby to be on a feeding pump to this day.

"It’s not something she’ll ever grow out of," the father stated.

The complaint names Regional Obstetrical Consultants P.C. in Chattanooga, University Surgical Consultants P.C., several attending doctors and Chattanooga/Hamilton County Hospital Authority Erlanger Health System as defendants in the case.

The Haleys' medical malpractice attorney stated that although amount of compensation is yet to be determined, it will likely be a "significant sum."