(KMSP / AP) - The family of a mother whose stillborn baby was discarded in a pile of dirty laundry at St. Paul's Regions hospital is now suing the medical center, asking for more than $50,000.
The mother, Esmeralda Hernandez, of DeSoto, Texas, and other relatives filed the lawsuit last week, accusing Regions of reckless interference with a dead body.
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 turned up at a commercial laundry two weeks later.
"She's been in tears, even years after this has happened," Hernandez' Attorney Chris Messerly said in a press conference Wednesday. "I don't think she'll ever get over it, and I think her principal motivation is to make sure no other mother or family suffers an injustice like this ever, ever again."
The hospital issued a statement Monday reaffirming its apology, saying it has worked to prevent a similar situation from ever happening again. The statement also said Regions reached out to Hernandez' lawyer and is open to a reasonable solution.
Statement from Regions Hospital
We want to say again that we are truly sorry for our mistake. We immediately reached out to the family in 2013 to apologize and to try to help ease their loss. We have continued to work with their lawyer – always open to a reasonable resolution.
We also took immediate steps to ensure that this would not happen again. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reviewed and approved our updated processes in 2014. We continue to review these processes on an ongoing basis.