$2M lawsuit filed against University Hospital, doctor for fetus flushed down toilet

$2M lawsuit filed against University Hospital, doctor for fetus flushed down toilet

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A husband and wife have filed a lawsuit against University Hospital and one doctor working there for, they say, flushing their miscarried fetus down the toilet.

On May 7, 2018, workers at the Augusta Waste Water Treatment Plant discovered a fetus in a clogged piece of machinery. The day after the fetus was found, Lakeya Jones came forward to say she could be the mother. Jones says she had visited University Hospital a few days prior with abdominal pain and miscarried while in the hospital’s bathroom.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed Mar. 12 in Richmond County, Jones went to University Hospital at around 6 p.m. May 4. She waited in the emergency room for 3 hours before being seen in an examining room by Dr. Ziad Ahmadie. Jones’s lawyer, Harry Revell, said, “The whole treatment of our client was so disrespectful, rude and uncaring.” An ultrasound confirmed she was 16 weeks pregnant at the time. The lawsuit claims Dr. Ahmadie treated her as though she were faking her symptoms. Revell added, “It was such a horrifying set of circumstances.”

The lawsuit goes on to say Dr. Ahmadie gave Jones her discharge papers and told her to get dressed and leave the hospital. When Jones tried to use the bathroom in her exam room, she vomited and her water broke, according to the lawsuit. A nurse let her into the bathroom and that’s when she miscarried. Jones was led back to the examination bed. The paperwork says Dr. Ahmadie and a nurse both saw what was in the toilet and for an unknown reason, one of them flushed it. Dr. Ahmadie told Jones “everything went down the drain.” Revell said, “It’s shocking and so outrageous to know that they would do that so quickly, without taking any measures to comply with Georgia law and hospital policy.”

Jones was admitted to University Hospital and an ultrasound taken on May 5 showed she had indeed miscarried.

A University Health Services spokesperson said, “We have not reviewed the lawsuit, but we have spent a great deal of time investigating the patient’s course of care, and we feel confident that no one intentionally flushed a fetus down the toilet.” Revell said, “They violated the standard of medical care, and they should be help accountable for that. That’s the primary purpose of the lawsuit.”

Revell said they have copies of chart notes, doctor and nurse notes and the investigation report from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. He said, “There are some inconsistencies in those notes that are troubling.” In addition to holding people accountable, he said the mother and father need to know the truth behind those notes. Revell added, “Losing a baby is traumatic in and of itself under the best circumstances."

Dr. Ahmadie, Augusta Physicians Group LLC, University Health Services, and 10 other individuals are named as defendants in the lawsuit. Jones and her husband are suing for $2,000,000 and court costs. Revell said it will take months for the case to make it to court, after which the fetus will be allowed a proper burial.

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