A Georgia mother and father have filed a lawsuit against the doctor tasked with delivering their child. The parents say Dr. Tracey St. Julian used too much force during the birth and decapitated their baby boy. 

Jessica Ross, and Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr. joined their attorney in Atlanta Wednesday to announce a lawsuit against St. Julian and Southern Regional Medical Center. The hospital is located in Riverdale, Georgia and is where Ross went to deliver her baby on July 9. 

“They were so excited about the birth of their first child,” attorney Cory Lynch said according to the Associated Press. “Unfortunately, their dreams and hopes turned into a nightmare that was covered up by Southern Regional Medical Center.”

According to the lawsuit, the baby got stuck during delivery. Rather than order a cesarean section as the parents requested, attorney Roderick Edmond said St. Julian instead applied “ridiculously excessive force” on the baby’s head and neck to try to deliver it. Edmond is also a physician according to the AP.

Roughly three hours passed before the 20 year old mother was allowed a C-section according to the suit. By then, the baby’s fetal monitor had stopped displaying a heartbeat. Edmond added that the C-section removed the baby’s body and limbs, but the head was delivered vaginally. 

The suit accuses Dr. St. Julian and Southern Region Medical Center of gross negligence, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit accuses the hospital staff of a cover-up. It says staff discouraged the couple from getting an autopsy, recommended cremating their baby’s remains, and even propped the baby’s body up to hide the decapitation. 

Southern Regional said in statements it could not discuss treatment for particular patients due to privacy laws, but it denies the allegations against it. The hospital also added that St. Julian is not an employee of the hospital.

Racial Disparities in Maternal Care

During the press conference, Edmond recognized that this case highlights the higher rates of mortality for infants and Black mothers. According to KFF, they are 2.6 times higher to die during delivery than their white counterparts.

The case has sparked outrage on social media. Many users point to the circumstances of the case being a direct reflection of the quality of care Black women and babies receive in the delivery rooms.

“How many Black mothers have to go through this lack of care!” one TikTok user commented in a video of the press conference.