Ob/Gyn, healthcare center voluntarily dismissed from wrongful death suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 13, 2019

A mother has voluntarily dismissed her claims against Specialist in Ob/Gyn Ltd. and a physician after her son allegedly died due to an undiagnosed congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Plaintiff Sarah Williams voluntarily dismissed the case without prejudice on April 12 through attorney Roy C. Dripps of Armbruster Dripps Winterscheidt & Blotevogel LLC in Maryville.

Williams filed the four-count complaint on Oct. 15, 2018, individually and as mother of Cheyenne Williams, a minor who is the mother of Antwon Lyles Jr., deceased. She filed her complaint against Specialist in Ob/Gyn Ltd. and Dr. Elliot Wool.

According to the complaint, Cheyenne Williams was previously a patient of Dr. Justin Ogberon when she had a positive pregnancy test on May 10, 2016. She was referred to Wool. Cheyenne Williams first became Wool’s patient on May 17, 2016, when an initial pregnancy examination was performed along with a limited ultrasound.


Dripps  

A second limited ultrasound was performed on June 20, 2016, where Wool determined Cheyenee Williams to be approximately 17 weeks and 4 days in gestation. He later determined her due date to be Nov. 12, 2016, the suit stated. A third limited ultrasound was performed on July 8, 2016.

The plaintiffs alleged that the ideal time to perform an anatomy scan is 18-22 weeks gestation. However, a standard anatomy scan was allegedly not performed. The suit stated that had a standard anatomy scan been performed, Cheyenne Williams’ congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) would have been detected and would not have gone undiagnosed.

The CDH allegedly involved the left diaphragm with herniation of ¼ to ½ of the total liver, stomach, spleen, small intestine, and pancreas into the left thorax. This displaced the heart to the right thorax in dextracardia position and resulted in hypoplastic lungs with pulmonary hypertension, the suit stated. The condition lead to respiratory distress and ultimately respiratory failure.

The plaintiffs further alleged that none of the ultrasounds performed by the defendants met published guidelines nor practice parameters.

The suit stated that Lyles was delivered vaginally at 33 weeks, 5 days and immediately stopped breathing after birth. An examination of the baby revealed that he had decreased air entry on his left chest and heart sounds were displaced to the right chest. A breathing tube and stomach tube were put in place.

A chest x-ray after birth revealed the undiagnosed CDH. When diagnosed, the CDH measured 2.5 x 2 cm.

Lyles died 29 days after he was born on Oct. 27, 2016.

The plaintiffs alleged the defendants failed to discuss the implications of limited versus standard ultrasounds and failed to refer Cheyenne Williams to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist.

As a result, available care and treatment of the CDH and resulting complications were not started, amniocentesis to establish or rule out genetic syndromes was not initiated, close surveillance was not conducted, and serial ultrasounds, lung-to-head testing, fetal MRI, fetal echocardiogram, and utero surgery were not performed. The plaintiffs also alleged the use of a c-section delivery was not considered and Cheyenne Williams was not transferred to a tertiary care center for the birth of Lyles.

The plaintiffs further alleged Cheyenne Williams tested positive for chlamydia, but Wool negligently delayed treatment and counseling for the condition.

The defendants were represented by James Neville of Neville, Richards & Wuller LLC in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 18-L-670

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Organizations in this Story

Armbruster, Dripps, Winterschiedt & Bl Neville, Richards & Wuller

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