ST. PAUL, Minn. — A settlement has been reached in the lawsuit filed against a St. Paul hospital after staff accidentally discarded a woman’s stillborn baby in dirty laundry instead of cremating the remains.
Regions Hospital’s attorney informed the judge presiding over the case last month that the issue had been settled, according to Ramsey County District Court documents. The documents included no details about the settlement.
The suit has since been dismissed, according to court documents. Attorneys for both parties declined to comment.
The baby’s mother, Esmeralda Hernandez, and other family members filed the lawsuit against Regions in November, alleging reckless interference with a dead body and seeking unspecified damages “far in excess of $50,000” for ongoing pain, The Pioneer Press reported . The judge granted a motion by Regions in January to dismiss all the plaintiffs named in the suit aside from Hernandez, who now lives in Texas.
Hernandez gave birth to a premature, stillborn son named Jose in April 2013. She accepted the hospital’s offer of a dignified cremation, but the baby’s body was found two weeks later inside a dirty laundry bag from the hospital at Crothall Laundry Services.
At the time, the hospital issued a statement to apologize.
“We want to say again that we are truly sorry for our mistake,” the statement said. “We immediately reached out to the family in 2013 to apologize and to try and help ease their loss. We have continued to work with their lawyer — always open to a reasonable resolution.”
The hospital said it took immediate steps to ensure the situation wouldn’t happen again.
Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com