• Maternity center sued after infant death

    By: Greg Suskin


    FORT MILL, S.C. - The Department of Health and Environmental Control issued an emergency suspension of the license of the Carolina Community Maternity Center last September after an infant died in the care of midwives there a few days earlier.

    DHEC found that midwives at the Fort Mill business did not consult a doctor during a pregnancy that involved complications.

    Now, another parent with a separate case is suing the business, claiming negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday.
    S.  Randall Hood represents Katherine Wagner, who has sued after her child died in the care of the center in March 2013.  That's six months before the incident that led to the DHEC investigation.

    Hood told Channel 9 it was a matter of trust for the Wagners.

    “This is a family that went to medical professionals, trusted medical professionals, expected to be treated appropriately by medical professionals, and now there's a dead baby," he said.

    The lawsuit claims Wagner came into the center in March 2013 at 39 weeks.  She was having painful contractions.  The suit states that the midwife put her hand on her belly, felt a heartbeat, then told Wagner to get up and walk around for a while.

    "She tells her to go for a walk, they come back 45 minutes to an hour later, she puts her hand on her belly, and they can't feel a heartbeat," Hood said.

    Hood said the midwife used her hand, instead of an electronic fetal heart monitor.

    The infant, named Stacy, died by the time Lee Wagner got his wife to the hospital.  She then had to deliver a stillborn child.
    “She then had to labor, knowing that her baby was dead, over a period of a day or two.  It was 24 hours," Hood said.

    The lawsuit accuses the Carolina Community Maternity Center of negligence, alleging that Wagner should've never been accepted as a patient because she was not low risk. She had had a previous miscarriage and prior medical complications in a past pregnancy.  That history was known to the maternity center, the suit claims.

    The lawsuit calls the maternity center unfair and deceptive, and accuses the business of failing to acknowledge her medical conditions, and failing to recognize the signs of an impending crisis.

    Channel 9 went by the maternity center Thursday.  An employee there asked us to leave, and said they had nothing to say.
    The maternity center is open and seeing patients.

    Katherine Wagner is asking for a jury trial.

    Hood told Channel 9 they want justice, and a York County jury will have to decide what that is.

    Read our past coverage:

    Fort Mill birthing center closed by SC officials

    Protesters say SC birthing center shut down by the state should reopen

    SC bill would require midwives to be supervised by doctor

    SC birth center's license suspended after baby death, report states

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