Woman unaware she was pregnant while using birth control, suit claims

By Ann Knef | Mar 17, 2008

Jessica Baxley claims her gynecologist failed to adequately inform her that she may get pregnant while using birth control product Depo Provera.

In a suit filed March 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Baxley claims she delivered a stillborn male fetus on March 8, 2006, at Belleville Memorial Hospital.

She claims she was a patient of Dwight O'Dell, M.D. of Belleville from Sept. 28, 2005, until she went to the hospital after experiencing lower abdominal pain and cramping.

"That prior to March 8, 2006, the Plaintiff was unaware that she had conceived and was carrying a fetus," the complaint states.

Depo Provera is a hormone injection that lasts for three months to prevent pregnancy. The injection contains synthetic progesterone and no estrogen.

Baxley, represented by Jeffrey S. Hammel of Belleville is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages from O'Dell.

She also claims O'Dell was allegedly negligent for:

  • Failing to determine she was pregnant;

  • Failing to perform an evaluation and/or examination prior to authorizing the continued use of Depo Provera;

  • Failing to inform and warn her of the risks and contraindications for the uses of Depo Provera;

  • Failing to warn her that Depo Provera should not be administered when pregnant;

  • Allowing others outside his office to administer Depo Provera;

  • Failing to adequately supervise the administration of Depo Provera; and

  • Failing to instruct her on the proper use of Depo Provera outside his office.

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