First-Time Mom Who Accidentally Smothered Baby After Nurse Left Them Alone Sues Hospital For $8 Million

A first-time mom accidentally smothered her newborn son after a nurse put him in the hospital bed with her to breastfeed while she was “groggy” from her c-section and on two strong pain medications. The $8 million lawsuit was filed last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Monica Thompson, 42, was given Vicodin and Ambien after the c-section delivery of her son, Jacob, at the Portland Adventist Medical Center in Oregon. The newborn suffocated under his mother after she fell asleep while nursing him.

The tragedy occurred three days after she had given birth. The Portland nurse brought the baby into Monica Thompson’s room in the middle of the night so he could be breastfed. When the Oregon mom awoke about an hour later, she found her son still in her arms but unresponsive.

Due to the extensive lack of oxygen the baby boy endured, he suffered significant brain damage, the Daily Mail reports. Baby Jacob died a week later when Monica and her husband, the newborn’s father, Graham Thompson, made the decision to turn off his life support system.

Monica Thompson is now suing the Portland Adventist Medical Center for $8 million. The Oregon mom has accused the medical staff of negligence. In her legal filing, Thompson said the hospital was negligent for giving her the baby to breastfeed while she was taking such strong pain medications and also for leaving them alone while she was in such a groggy condition, Oregon Live reports.

According to court documents, Thompson’s attorney maintained she was given a combination of sleeping aids and painkillers to allow her to get some sleep three days after she gave birth to baby Jacob, MSN reports. The lawsuit also claims the Portland hospital nurse brought the newborn in to breastfeed at 3 a.m. and put him into the bed with Thompson before exiting and leaving them unattended.

When the new mom, still in a drowsy state, realized her baby was unresponsive in her arms, she reportedly tried a variety of ways to wake him. When she touched his eyes, talked to him, and poked him, she did not get a response, according to the lawsuit against the hospital.

The first-time mom called for a nurse to help her, but no one came to her aid, the legal filing also claims. Monica Thompson then got out of her bed and walked into the hallway, her limp baby still in her arms, and “frantically” begged for help, according to court documents.

When a nurse noticed the mother in the hallway, she examined the newborn and called a “Code Blue” because the newborn was not breathing, Thompson’s attorney said. The hospital staff then reportedly took baby Jacob to work on him but he never regained consciousness.

Instead of going home in a few days with his mother and father, baby Jacob was admitted to a children’s hospital and placed in a neonatal intensive care unit. The doctors seeing to the baby determined he was both “severely and permanently” brain damaged.

Thompson’s $8 million lawsuit against the Portland hospital also maintains the staff “directly caused her severe emotional distress, severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and prolonged grief disorder.”

The lawsuit filed on behalf of both Monica Thompson and baby Jacob also stated the newborn may have been subjected to substantial pain when his ribs were broken while CPR was being administered at the Portland Adventist Medical Center.

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