Judge Denies Motion to Close Records on Decapitated Baby Case
Attorneys for Midwest Maternity & Fetal Medicine sought to keep confidential the transcript records, photos and other discovery material.
St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Barbara W. Wallace denied a motion that sought to prohibit public access to transcripts, photos and videos in a Florissant couple’s lawsuit against a Creve Coeur OBGYN practice.
The lawsuit, brought by Arteisha Betts and Travis Ammonette, of Florissant, claims the couple's child was decapitated during delivery on March 22, 2011.
The lawsuit is against Midwest Maternal & Fetal Medicine Services, LLC, Signature Medical Group Inc.
Kim Roger Luther sought a protective order that would keep confidential all depositions, transcripts, photos and other information.
A Missouri Supreme Court rule states a court may make any order “to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.”
“I am not in favor of closing or keeping access to the court system restricted,” said Chris Wright, an attorney representing Betts and Ammonette. “There’s supposed to be transparency in the judicial process.”
In a written response to the motion, attorneys from Millikan-Wright argued that defendants seeking confidentiality have to overcome “a presumption that favors public access.”
Wright said, “In my 15 years of law practice, I’ve never see a motion in any court case, let alone a medical malpractice case, that sought to block access to so much information.”
Luther did not return a call from Patch Wednesday.
Wright said depositions have been taken for most of the involved parties. The next person to give a deposition will be a pathologist from St. Louis University, who performed the autopsy on the infant.
For more information on the lawsuit, see Lawsuit Claims Baby Was Decapitated During Delivery at Mercy.