Pregnant car accident victim files wrongful death complaint over baby's death

Ann Knef Feb. 13, 2008, 6:40am

A woman who was nine months pregnant filed suit against Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital, two of its physicians and Medstar Ambulance over the death of her child the day after she was involved in a head-on motor vehicle accident.

According to the suit filed Feb. 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Kathryn Broussard of Olney was transported to the hospital located in East St. Louis at 7:30 p.m. on March 1, 2007, following the accident.

She was later transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She arrived there at 10 p.m. and gave birth by emergency cesarean section at 11 p.m.

"At birth, C.B. was limp and blue, with no pulse or heart rate," the complaint states. "C.B. subsequently died the following day, March 2, 2007."

Broussard claims Medstar did not follow protocol when it failed to contact Memorial Hospital in Belleville, the resource hospital, for directions regarding her obstetric condition.

She claims Medstar knew or had an obligation to know that Kenneth Hall did not maintain adequate obstetrics equipment and personnel and claims Medstar was negligent for transporting her to a Trauma II hospital instead of a Trauma I hospital such as Barnes-Jewish Hospital -- one which was fully equipped to handle her injuries and which was located within substantially the same proximity from the accident scene as Kenneth Hall Hospital.

Her husband, Joseph Broussard, also is a plaintiff.

The Broussards seek damages from physicians Sana Ullah, M.D. and Emmanuel Afuwape, M.D., claiming they delayed assessment of Broussard for placental abruption after initial evaulation and stabilization of maternal vital signs.

They also claim the physicians delayed assessing the fetal heart rate pattern.

According to the complaint, a fetal heart rate of 115-120 beats per minute was detected while Broussard was at Kenneth Hall, but by the time she arrived at Barnes-Jewish the baby's heart rate had "substantially lowered."

The Broussards, represented by Roger C. Denton, Kristine K. Kraft and Laura A. Grady of Schlicter, Bogard & Denton in St. Louis, are seeking in excess of $200,000 in damages.

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