Mother wins case in baby’s death

(Photo: WLKY/CNN)
(Photo: WLKY/CNN)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WLKY/CNN) – A Louisville mother whose premature baby was killed during a traumatic birth was awarded $1.4 million. The jury found two doctors at fault, but ruled the hospital was not responsible.

Moments after the verdict was read, emotions spilled over on both sides of the case. The mother, Micheatria Donelson, has suffered from post-traumatic stress and depression since her baby was decapitated in the difficult delivery four years ago.

"I think this is a vindication for Micheatrea and all that she went through," said Donelson's attorney, Mark Mathys.

In 2006, Donelson went into labor after just 21 weeks of pregnancy. Her lawyers say the doctors involved failed to remove a device that meant to keep her cervix closed, and that the delivering doctor pulled too hard on the baby.

"We think that justice was served today," said Donelson's attorney, Larry Jones. "The jury found in favor of Micheatrea and found that these doctors did not deliver the standard of care that's required of doctors in this community."

She sued two of the doctors and Norton Suburban Hospital, seeking $10 million in damages.

The jury found the two doctors at fault, but also ruled that Norton Suburban Hospital did nothing. Terry Lee, a nurse who tried to save the newborn's life was pleased with the verdict.

"It was just an emotional case, period," Lee said. "You work as hard as you can every day to do the best you can, and I felt like we did do the best we could."

Donelson was not present during the reading of the verdict, but Lee says her thoughts were with her.

"I feel for Ms. Donelson, too," Lee said. "I have since day one. It was a very difficult case for everybody."

Donelson's legal team says the verdict brings closure and the means to cope with the tragedy.

"More importantly, it brings the funds that she needs to get the help that she really desperately needs at this point," Mathys said.

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