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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Florida Hospital Flushed Fetus Down Drain, Mom Says

(CN) - A hospital employee "negligently and carelessly" flushed a Florida woman's fetus down a drain and then tried to send her back to an emergency room waiting area, the woman claims in court.

In a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County, Linda Gomez claims she "could readily see the face of [her] child as it was flushed down the toilet" at Wellington Regional Medical Center.

Gomez sued the South Florida hospital for negligence and infliction of emotional distress, alleging that she was deprived of the chance to bury the miscarried baby.

According to the March 23 complaint, Gomez was nineteen weeks pregnant when she visited Wellington Regional's emergency room in July 2014. She was bleeding and in need of immediate medical treatment but was sent to the waiting area, the lawsuit alleges.

Gomez says she experienced a miscarriage in a hospital bathroom while waiting to be treated, and hysterically searched for help.

After hearing Gomez's cries, an employee of Wellington Regional went inside the restroom with her, and "proceeded to flush the toilet" rather than retrieve the fetus from the water, the lawsuit says.

The employee "then instructed the plaintiff to go and sit down in the ER waiting room and wait to be called," the lawsuit alleges.

Gomez says that "on that day and thereafter," she "demanded the retrieval of her child," but 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 states.

The complaint was made public upon its assignment to a circuit division on March 25.

Gomez is represented by Kennan Dandar in Tampa.

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

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