“Woman didn’t know she was pregnant, gives birth”

by Walter Olson on October 14, 2008

And now here comes the lawsuit against the hospital, blaming it for the baby’s deficits. Attorney Harold “Tripp” Sebring III has couched the suit against University Community Hospital in Tampa as one on behalf of the child, Brianna Rose Lumley, rather than the mother, Robin Lumley. Per Chicago psychiatric trauma specialist Alexander E. Obolsky, the suit represents “chutzpah”: “This is America. You’ve got to love this country. This woman doesn’t know she is pregnant, but somebody else should.” (Colleen Jenkins, “St. Petersburg Times, Oct. 7).

{ 9 comments }

1 Jason Barney 10.14.08 at 3:55 pm

“The attorney said the staff should have been on ‘high alert’ that Lumley was in labor and should never have let her go to the bathroom unassisted.”

Don’t they have those emergency pull cords in hospital bathrooms so the patient can enjoy privacy all while having a method to quickly summon help?

2 Todd Rogers 10.14.08 at 4:28 pm

Can I sue the plaintiff on behalf of western civilization? Surely this woman is either 1) utterly stupid or 2) so lacking in responsibility that we’ve all suffered in some way of having her among us. I think we have a new all time low in our legal system.

3 Matt 10.14.08 at 6:17 pm

Still, other factors could have played into Lumley’s disconnect with reality, he said. She might not have gained a lot of weight due to her already heavy frame. Though Sebring said she had not had a period in eight months and 24 days, she might have attributed the absence to something else. Lumley had traces of cocaine in her bloodstream when she gave birth, the lawyer said; substance abuse could have clouded her awareness.

Doctors are now supposed to be omniscient?

4 nevins 10.14.08 at 8:10 pm

“We all know people who have poor self-observation. People who have bad breath. People who have body odor.”

So which is it? Is pregnancy more like halitosis or BO? Really, as a sensitive male I’d like to comprehend the condition of pregnancy.

5 Bumper 10.14.08 at 11:49 pm

childless, overweight and unmarried at 46, arrived at an emergency room 2 1/2 years ago complaining of terrible abdominal pain

This is certainly the sort of criteria that would make me order up a pregnancy test.

And it only took her 2 1/2 years to find a lawyer to take the case.

There are probably some states & countries where she could be charged with child neglect for failing to take proper pre-natal care.

6 Carlos Gomez 10.15.08 at 9:38 am

If this case wins, then will we be seeing defensive medicine in the form of pregnancy tests for all women who complain of abdominal pain?

7 Jim Thomlonson 10.15.08 at 8:15 pm

Mr. Gomez, I can assure you that all women with abdominal pain are supposed to get pregnancy tests in any healthcare setting in the US. It is the standard of care. Abdominal or pelvic pain in a female of childbearing age is an ectopic pregnancy until proven otherwise.

8 Dan Mackenzie 10.15.08 at 8:24 pm

Hmm, I guess this explains why my dr. insisted on using a catheter to collect a urine sample when I went for my physical the other day…

9 someone 10.21.08 at 7:36 am

Should start giving pregnancy tests to men, too. Never know who’s a transexual- and patient might not know either.

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