A Sunnyvale doctor and hospital were sued for gross negligence Tuesday over the September birth of a child with severe brain damage.
Alia Fletchman was born to Celeste Fletchman on Sept. 16, 2011, at Texas Regional Medical Center at Sunnyvale.
The child will require a lifetime of around-the-clock care and may never walk or talk, according to the family's lawyer, Les Weisbrod.
"It's not just negligence in this case, it's heedless and reckless disregard," Weisbrod said.
The lawsuit claims obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Anu Adeyami arrived at the hospital nearly four hours after she was called for the delivery.
During that time, the unborn child was showing signs of serious stress on a fetal monitor, the lawsuit claims.
"My husband was by my side, trying to calm me down, because I'm freaking out; I'm worried that something's going wrong," Celeste Fletchman said.
No other doctor was available for the patient at the hospital, according to the lawsuit.
The family's lawyer said the baby should have been surgically rescued from the mother's womb. Weisbrod said it is a routine procedure at other hospitals.
"If a cesarean section in this case had been done hours before, there's no question this baby would be normal," Weisbrod said.
"The only thing that's keeping me going is knowing that she smiles," Fletchman said. "At least she still smiles. And I have a very strong foundation with my family."
Adeyemi did not return calls made to her Sunnyvale office Tuesday.
Her current state medical license is under the last name Ogunlari, but a receptionist in her office confirmed it is the same person.
Fletchman said she is suing to recover financial support for her child's care and also to correct the problems she encountered.
She said patients should seek more information about what care will be available to them if problems arise and should not just trust their providers.
"Ask more questions. If I knew, I would have asked more questions," she said.
Julie Martin, a hospital spokeswoman, issued the following statement:
"Texas Regional Medical Center at Sunnyvale strives to deliver the highest quality care to all our patients, including the mothers and babies in the Women's Center. The 1,242 babies delivered in 2011 were served by a talented team of physicians and nurses. Federal patient privacy guidelines will not allow us to provide specific comments about a patient's health care, but we care deeply about all of the mothers and babies delivered at Texas Regional Medical Center."