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Young woman accuses Florida hospital of flushing miscarried baby down toilet

Young woman accuses Florida hospital of flushing miscarried baby down toilet
A Florida woman is suing a hospital over an employee she claims “negligently and carelessly” flushed her miscarried baby down a toilet, depriving her the chance of holding a proper Christian burial.

Linda Gomez’s lawsuit, filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court last week, described the events of July 2014, when she entered Wellington Regional Medical Center due to bleeding. At the time, she was between 17 and 18 years old, married and 19 weeks into her pregnancy.

According to the lawsuit filed on her behalf by attorney Kennan Dandar, Gomez went to use a bathroom while waiting in an emergency room. She unexpectedly miscarried her fetus while sitting on a toilet.

Having failed to summon professional assistance, Gomez allegedly cut the umbilical cord with her fingernails.

Dandar wrote that a hospital worker eventually heard her screaming, entered the bathroom and proceeded to flush the toilet rather than retrieve the fetus from the water, Court News reported.

According to AP, Gonzales screamed, "no, no, no, my baby."

"She saw the face of her child. It is what she remembers in her nightmares," Dandar said.

Gomez was then instructed to go back to the emergency room and wait for a doctor. In her lawsuit, Gomez reportedly described the staffer as "calm, cool and collected,” saying she did not panic.

"It was very callous how they (the hospital) approached this," Dandar wrote in the complaint. 

“On that day and thereafter," Gomez and her family "demanded the retrieval of her child” from its sewage collection system so they could bury the baby in accordance with their Christian faith. However, the hospital "negligently failed or refused to do so."

"The plaintiff has lost the ability to bury her child in conformance with her Christian faith, and has experienced and will experience emotional harm and mental anguish, medical and psychological expenses, and loss of the enjoyment of life," her lawsuit stated as cited by Court News. 

In addition to what Gomez experienced in July 2014, her husband was in a deep depression in the aftermath of losing the baby and died a year later in a traffic accident, according to AP.

Wellington Regional's public relations department has not responded to a request for comment.

Jay Cohen, the hospital's attorney said in a statement that he was unable to comment specifically on either Gomez’s situation or her lawsuit due to federal privacy laws, but he also said the hospital "intends to defend itself vigorously."

"We are confident that the true facts of this situation will come out," he wrote, according to the news agency.