Parents sue doctors after baby's death

By Michelle Massey | Jul 6, 2010


Two Louisiana parents are accusing the doctors who delivered their baby of causing his death.

Ashley Robinchaux and Harris Irvin, individually and on behalf of their deceased son, filed suit against the state of Louisiana, through the Louisiana State University Medical Center, Health Sciences Center and the Medical Center of Louisiana at New-Orleans University Hospital Campus, the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund June 23 in Orleans Parish District Court.

Robinchaux and Irvin argue that a cesarean section delivery was needed but was not performed. They say the physicians who delivered the baby also failed to perform appropriate resuscitation techniques after the birth.

Two other LSU resident physicians are accused of not providing the newborn with adequate oxygenation via bag and mask ventilation during their prolonged intubation attempts. According to the suit, the baby was eventually intubated, by a respiratory technician, ten minutes after delivery.

Resident Dr. Thomas Jarnagin, an employee of the administrators, is accused of failing to provide reasonable, competent and appropriate management of Robinchaux. The petitioners accuse the doctor of failing to recognize "non-reassuring and ominous fetal heart tracing and to intervene by performing a cesarean section to prevent baby Justin's fetal hypoxia (causing brain damage) and his subsequent death."

The couple's son was born Oct. 1, 2009 and died 19 months later from complications related to anoxic birth injuries. The plaintiffs say, prior to his death, the boy required 24-hour care due to severe brain damage and other complications.

Robinchaux and Irvin are seeking damages for emotional injury and mental anguish, wrongful death damages, loss of society and services and loss of consortium damages, damages for pain and suffering of the baby, survival damages of the baby, medical expenses and burial expenses, attendant care expenses, interest and court costs.

Robinchaux and Irvin are represented by New Orleans attorneys Tracey Rannals Bryan and Nakisha Ervin Knott of Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer.

Judge Kern A. Reese is assigned to the case.

Case No. 10-6487

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