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Lawsuit: Hospital persuaded patient to have abortion to cover up their medical error

Hospital paid woman $2,000 in cash for abortion services at Chicago-area clinic after accidentally injecting her with drug used to terminate pregnancies

Press Conference: TODAY

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Law Offices of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard

161 N. Clark Street

Suite 4700

Chicago, IL 60601

2:30 p.m.

PEORIA, Ill. (April 11, 2019) – The Chicago law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard has filed a lawsuit against UnityPoint Health-Methodist Center in Peoria, Ill. on behalf of a 23-year-old patient and mother of two who was paid $2,000 by the hospital’s risk managers to undergo an abortion after a medical error.

In November of 2017, Reneizha Morris was admitted to UnityPoint Health-Methodist Center in Peoria for psychiatric evaluation after having an apparent issue with her medication. After being admitted to the hospital, Ms. Morris underwent routine testing and learned she was pregnant. On November 6, 2017, she had a sonogram that showed a normal, live intrauterine pregnancy with an estimated gestation of 7 weeks, 2 days. However, due to an apparent miscommunication within the hospital, Ms. Morris was injected with a drug called Methotrexate, which causes severe birth defects when given to pregnant women.

After the hospital became aware of their irreversible mistake, physicians held two meetings with Ms. Morris and her family.  They were told there were multiple risks to the fetus after Methotrexate exposure, but that fetal exposure had happened on separate occasions and most likely no harm had come to Ms. Morris and her baby.  During these meetings, Ms. Morris stated she intended to carry the child to term.

Following Ms. Morris’ declaration that she would carry the Methotrexate-exposed baby to term, the hospital’s legal risk manager began attending the meetings with Ms. Morris and her physicians.  At multiple subsequent meetings, the group stressed to Ms. Morris and her family the potentially devastating consequences of fetal exposure to Methotrexate. Ms. Morris continued to express her desire to keep the baby and “hoped it was a girl.”

On November 29, Ms. Morris went to a Peoria clinic for a scheduled abortion, but ultimately left, indicating she did not want to go through with the procedure after seeing her baby on the ultrasound.

Ms. Morris’s attorneys have found the hospital’s records suddenly trail off at this point on how and when she supposedly decided to terminate the pregnancy.  Following the canceled procedure, the hospital’s risk manager had two phone calls with the Morris family, which have been omitted from the medical record. On December 5, the hospital’s risk manager asked Ms. Morris to come to the hospital to pick up $2,000 in cash and a letter stating the money was to be used for “a consultation” at a Chicago-area Planned Parenthood clinic.

Due to increased pressure placed on her through the series of meetings, Ms. Morris felt she had no choice but to terminate the pregnancy and the baby was ultimately aborted on December 15, 2017.

“This case has one of the ugliest fact patterns I have ever seen. A perfectly healthy fetus was given a deadly injection based on reckless communication. The hospital administration knew full well they would have been legally responsible for the considerable healthcare costs associated with the baby’s birth injury. The hospital purely had their own interests in mind and failed to take Reneizha’s wishes into consideration,” the Morris family’s attorney, Thomas R. Mulroy III said.

On April 11, 2019, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard attorneys Patrick A. Salvi, Thomas R. Mulroy III and Eirene N. Salvi filed a lawsuit against Unity Point Health in Peoria County, alleging the hospital was negligent in their care of Ms. Morris by providing an improper diagnosis, leading to the wrongful death of her unborn baby.

“No one should ever have to make that decision. I think about what happened every single day and I hope another woman will never have to feel the pain I have felt since this happened,” Reneizha Morris said.

Ms. Morris and her attorneys will hold a press conference on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 2 p.m. at The Law Offices of Salvi Schostok & Pritchard, 161 N. Clark St., Suite 4700, Chicago, IL 60601, to discuss the lawsuit. At the press conference, attorneys will be providing a copy of the filed complaint and the risk manager’s December 5 letter.

Please contact the firm’s Director of Public Relations, Marcie Mangan, at (312) 372-1227 or mmangan@salvilaw.com for more information or editorial materials.

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