A doctor who performed an autopsy on a decapitated baby who didn’t survive childbirth is being sued by the parents for allegedly recording the procedure and uploading it to Instagram.
Jessica Ross, 20, and Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr, 21, filed a lawsuit against Dr. Jackson Gates for alleged invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud in Fulton County, Georgia on 1 September.
The couple already had filed another lawsuit against a doctor, Tracey St. Julian, nurses and Southern Regional Medical Center for the traumatic delivery of the baby.
In this previous lawsuit, the couple alleged that Dr St. Julian had “grossly negligently applied excessive traction” to the “head and neck” and failed to perform a Cesarean section in time, resulting in the baby’s decapitation and death. The baby’s head was delivered vaginally, whereas the body and the legs were delivered by Cesarean.
Furthermore, the couple claim in the lawsuit that the couple were told the baby had died on 10 July, but were not made aware that the baby was decapitated until 13 July, after Ms Ross’ discharge from hospital.
The couple “were fraudulently instructed that an autopsy on their son, Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Jr. was not needed and was not warranted under the circumstances,” the previous lawsuit states.
Despite this, Ms Ross signed a contract with Dr Gates on 12 July for him to do an autopsy and paid him $2,500 for the procedure, the lawsuit states.
On 14 July, Dr Gates posted a video that “showed in graphic and grisly detail a postmortem examination of the decapitated, severed head of Baby Isaiah,” according to the new lawsuit filed on 1 September.
The lawsuit says the videos included “extreme and outrageous” footage of Baby Isaiah’s “brain and other organs”.
Dr Gates allegedly took down the video, said the lawsuit, but then uploaded two more videos on 21 July of the autopsy.
Ms Ross and Mr Taylor sent a cease and desist letter to Dr Gates on 10 August through their attorneys for him to take down the videos.
“The plaintiffs were informed about the posting of these videos on social media, resulting in the plaintiffs experiencing feelings of shock, anger, humiliation and outrage,” the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit claims that Dr Gates posted these videos without the consent of the parents and that the doctor had caused “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” the lawsuit said.
"Dr. Gates consciously waived his duty to this young couple. He traded his duty to them on exchange for likes and followers on Instagram," Ross’ attorney Cory Lynch told FOX 5 Atlanta.
The doctor’s Instagram page named in the lawsuit has since become private.
The couple had “salt poured into their unfathomable emotional wounds” after they found out the autopsy had been made public by the “very doctor they entrusted to conduct the autopsy,” the couple’s attorney said in a statement to Law&Crime.
“This is one of the most egregious and outrageous cases of ‘clout chasing’ we have ever encountered,” the statement continued. “Dr. Jackson Gates attempted to exploit our clients’ horrific loss to boost his own social media profile without permission of the family. We intend to ensure that Dr. Gates is held accountable for this unbelievable invasion of our clients’ privacy. We have also reported this incident to the medical examiner’s board for their investigation.”
Both of the couple’s lawsuits are still pending.