May 14, 2014

Mother files lawsuit against Fort Mill maternity center after baby dies

A Rock Hill woman is suing a Fort Mill maternity center over the death of her baby.

A Rock Hill woman is suing a Fort Mill maternity center over the death of her baby.

Katherine Wagner is suing the Carolina Community Maternity Center alleging the wrongful death of her baby, Stacy, negligent infliction of emotional duress, unfair and deceptive trade practices, as a well as a “survival” action.

S. Randall Hood, an attorney for the Wagners, said the center was “not able to provide proper care to a mother and child and they shouldn’t have attempted to.” Hood also said, “Because they did not use the same equipment a doctor would use to monitor a baby’s well being, a baby is now dead.”

Carolina Community Maternity Center officials and the midwife named in the suit could not be reached for comment.

In September 2013, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control suspended the center’s license and that of two midwives who did not consult a physician as required during a difficult birth. The baby arrived at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill “without a heart or respiratory effort” and died after a cesarean section, according to state documents.

The suspension has since been lifted and the center, located near the intersection of Gold Hill and Pleasant roads, is one of five operating in South Carolina, according to DHEC.

The death of the Wagners’ baby happened in March 2013.

Katherine Wagner claims the Carolina Community Maternity Center engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices because the center accepted her as a patient knowing she’d already had a premature birth and a miscarriage. According to the Wagners’ suit, the center is for women with “uncomplicated pregnancies” and should have realized the center was “unable to provide reasonable medical care to this baby and mother.”

The intent to sue also seeks a “survival” action, Hood said, because the “child was viable and suffered in the womb.”

According to documents filed in York County court, Katherine Wagner went to the Carolina Community Maternity Center in March of 2013 for a 39-week checkup. That day she experienced “painful” contractions. She was told to “relax, take a walk and eat some food,” according to court documents.

When she returned she was taken to a birthing room where the “painful” contractions continued for another hour. According to court documents, a midwife could not detect a fetal heartbeat and Katherine Wagner’s husband then took her to a hospital.

In their court filings, the Wagners allege that complications necessitated transfer of mother and baby to “more appropriate health care providers” and that Carolina Community Maternity Center and the midwife “did not do as the law requires.”

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