BOSTON – A couple whose child passed away at a hospital in Boston has filed a lawsuit accusing the hospital of losing their infant’s remains.
Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy filed the lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court, saying that their baby Everleigh’s remains were lost in the morgue at Brigham and Woman’s Hospital while funeral and burial arrangements were being made, according to documents obtained by WFXT.
Everleigh was born prematurely July 25, 2020 and was immediately taken to the NICU at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for treatment, WFXT reported.
According to the lawsuit, the couple was allowed to hold their daughter on Aug. 1, just days before she passed away. At the time, an unnamed employee of the hospital told the parents that Everleigh’s body would “safely be transported to the morgue,” according to the lawsuit obtained by WFXT.
When days later, the funeral home was unable to retrieve Everleigh’s body, the Boston Police Department was contacted as part of the investigation.
The lawsuit alleges that a patient transport worker who was in charge of moving the remains said that they could “put it anywhere,” and that the hospital failed to electronically document her remains, WFXT reported.
The lawsuit cites a police report, in which Boston police said that Everleigh’s body “was probably mistaken as soiled linen” and thrown away, The New York Times reported.
According to the police report, both police officers and employees spent hours searching a waste center in Boston twice, but failed to find the body, The New York Times reported. The report also noted that the hospital did not give detectives a “complete video” showing what happened between the time Everleigh’s body was brought to the morgue and it was discovered missing.
Alana Ross told The New York Times that her goal in filing the lawsuit was not financial compensation, but rather to prevent something similar from happening to another family.
“We don’t want anybody else to go through this,” Ross told the paper. “We want the hospital to be held accountable. We want them to fix this.”
In a statement to WFXT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital said, “We continue to express our deepest sympathies and most sincere apologies to the Ross and McCarthy family for their loss and the heartbreaking circumstances surrounding it. As with any instance in which there is a concern related to our standard of care or practice, we readily and transparently shared the details with the patient’s family. We always evaluate both system and human factors that contribute to errors or potential issues raised by patients, family members or staff and take action. Due to pending litigation, we are unable to comment specifically on this case.”
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