OUTSIDE ST. LOUIS, MO -- According to a 10-count complaint filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court, a local couple claims that doctors involved with the delivery of their baby coerced them into a vaginal delivery against their wishes and then hid the fact that their baby had been decapitated during the delivery process.
Arteisha Betts and Travis Ammonette, of Florissant, are suing Midwest Maternal & Fetal Medicine Services, LLC, Signature Medical Group Inc., both in Creve Coeur, as well as Dr. Gilbert Webb and Dr. Susan D. Moore.
The suit does not list Mercy Hospital St. Louis, where the March 2011 event took place, as a defendant.
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According to the complaint, filed in late September, Betts and Ammonette believed after a February 2011 appointment with Moore "that the method by which their baby would need to be safely delivered was by Cesarean section."
That was because of the baby's "increased and/or accelerated abdominal circumference." But when Betts went into labor March 22, 2011, at Mercy, the complaint indicates Webb "would not agree" to the Cesarean and "would only agree to deliver her baby by way of attempted trial of vaginal delivery."
"Believing that she had no other choice than to agree to a trial of vaginal delivery, plaintiff Arteisha Betts consented to a trial of vaginal delivery under duress and protest," according to the complaint.
The baby's head delivered in the first stage of the birth process, but in the second stage, the complaint said the baby's abdomen was stuck in the birth canal.
In the process of trying to dislodge the the baby's abdomen, the complaint alleges that "Webb separated decedent Kaden Travis Ammonette's head from his cervical spine."
The complaint states that Webb "pushed decedent's head and body back into plaintiff Arteisha Betts' birth canal," and called for an emergency C-section. In a process that the complaint says began before Betts received anesthsia, Webb is said to have "surgically and completely removed" the baby's head from his neck and torso.
According to the complaint, Webb "intentionally concealed" the baby's neck wounds afterward before the baby was presented to the plaintiffs. The complaint does not indicate how the injuries were concealed.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount to cover pregnancy expenses, in addition to funeral expenses, personal injury and wrongful death damages.
According to online profiles, both Webb and Moore are affiliated with Midwest Maternal & Fetal Medicine Services, LLC.
Update Tuesday 5:00 p.m. Patch has been in touch the Midwest Maternal's parent company, Mednax, and late Tuesday afternoon, a company spokeswoman said the firm would not comment on pending litigation.
Monday night, an attorney for Signature Medical Group said the company had not been served with the suit yet and was unaware of the allegations involved. The attorney said he did not expect to comment on pending litigation.
An attorney representing Webb and Moore declined comment when reached Monday by Patch.
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