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Parents to file lawsuit for surgical negligence

Most Illinois parents would agree that having a baby is one of the most memorable and joyful experiences they will have in their lives. For many parents, however, that day can be marred by tragedy if something goes wrong with the birth or in the hours following it, if a doctor, nurse or other medical personnel make a mistake that harms their child. For instance, an out-of-state couple intends to file a lawsuit for surgical negligence after their child underwent a procedure that was intended to be performed on another child.

Reports indicate that the boy was born on Dec. 16, 2015. The next day, a nurse came in and took the baby to have what was supposed to be a routine physical. When their child was brought back to them, they immediately knew something had gone wrong when the nurse began discussing a frenulectomy.

A frenulectomy is a procedure that is performed on a newborn baby in order to help it eat better. The bottom of the tongue is clipped. The Tennessee couple was understandably upset since that procedure was not intended for their child.

They received a copy of their son's medical records, which indicated that the doctor who performed the procedure admitted that he operated on the wrong newborn and apologized. Apparently, he also went to see the couple in order to apologize in person. It should be noted that the hospital charged the parents for the procedure, even though it is clear that it never should have been performed.

As would be the case with many Illinois parents, a simple apology was not enough -- hence their intention to file a lawsuit. In order to prevail in such a claim, it will be necessary to prove to the court that surgical negligence occurred. Successfully establishing negligence could lead to an award of the damages sought.

Source: ABC News, "Parents Accuse Doctor of Performing Oral Surgery on Newborn by Mistake", Gillian Mohney and Steve Osunsami, Feb. 10, 2016

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