A Florida couple has sued a Hillborough County hospital on claims it lost the remains of their newborn son. Kathryn and Travis Wilson filed a complaint against St. Joseph’s Hospital, Inc., doing business as St. Joseph’s Hospital – North, in a Hillsborough County court on July 9.
The couple’s son, Jacob Wesley Wilson, was born at the facility on February 25 but died while still in the hospital’s care on the 28th, according to the complaint obtained by Law&Crime. The facility transported his remains to Orlando Regional Medical Center for an autopsy, they said. When that procedure was done, the remains were returned to the defendant “wrapped in blankets and in a body bag.” They told Kathryn Wilson on March 5 she could move forward with setting up a funeral, and she did so, but the hospital told her on the 11th that they could not find Jacob’s body.
The couple demands over $30,000 in damages, alleging negligent handling of the body and reckless infliction of emotional distress. Their lawyer, Douglas K. Burnetti, declined to speak about the case beyond telling the Tampa Bay Times he was having a private talks with the hospital’s attorney.
Records viewed by Law&Crime show the hospital filed a motion to dismiss on Tuesday. But there is no dispute that they cannot find Jacob’s body.
“Since first learning that Jacob Wilson’s remains were missing, St. Joseph’s Hospital has investigated all avenues and fully cooperated in all search efforts in the hope that they could be found,” BayCare Health System, the organization that manages the hospital, said in a statement to WTSP. “Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Wilsons for the loss of their child. We also deeply regret not being able to account for the remains. St. Joseph’s leadership and all personnel in our morgues are committed that this unforeseen situation will not happen again.”
[Screengrab via YouTube/Baycare]
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