Hospital gave her wrong baby to bury — now she’s headed to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Georgia.
The Supreme Court of Georgia.

An Opelika, Ala., woman suing The Medical Center over the mishandling of her stillborn child’s remains will have a day in court on Tuesday before the justices of the Georgia Supreme Court, according to court documents.

Amanda Coon’s child was stillborn at The Medical Center on Feb. 8, 2011. Following the stillbirth, the infant’s remains were put in a holding room to await pickup by an Opelika funeral home. During that time, the Coon infant’s remains and the remains of another child stillborn that day were mixed up and the wrong remains were identified as the Coon infant and picked up by the funeral home.

The family held funeral and burial services for the wrong infant on Feb. 12.

About two weeks later, The Medical Center became aware of the mistake and contacted the family. The infant’s remains were exhumed and the correct remains were interred. The hospital paid the costs of the exhumation of the misidentified baby and the subsequent burial of the correct remains. Coon did not attend the second burial because she “could not handle having to go through that all over again,” her attorneys said.

The Coon family filed suit against The Medical Center in March 2011 seeking damages for emotional distress.

The hospital made a motion for summary judgment, which was granted, essentially dismissing the case. Attorneys for the Coon family appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals, which upheld the lower court’s decision. The attorneys then appealed that decision to the Supreme Court of Georgia, which agreed earlier this year to hear the appeal.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Tuesday in the high court’s courtroom, 244 Washington St., Atlanta.