The Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Illinois is facing a lawsuit over the switching of two babies and sending them home with the wrong parents. Notably, 17-year-old Kassie Hopkins said that she spotted the problem immediately, but Mary Jo Bathon (who had the same suspicions) went home with Hopkins baby.
It should be an interesting case because the separation was only brief. However, the emotional distress in such a circumstance is enormous. The mothers do not know if their babies are being protected or cared for. The babies are being breastfed by other women. It could be a difficult matter to sort out in terms of damages — the negligence seems clear. The lawsuits are vague on damages, only stating (in standard form) that monetary damages should be more than $50,000 for each woman. They are asking for jury trial.
The switch occurred after a circumcision. Bathon’s son, Hunter Allen Bathon, and Hopkins’ son, Riley Howard Spencer, were taken at the same time for the procedure but their identifications were reversed. Later, DNA tests showed the switch. It is bizarre that identification badges are even removed today after so many such cases and new technology to avoid switches or thefts of babies.
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