Lawsuit claims Robertson doctor neglected newborn

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Dec 22, 2011

Brandon Gee | The Tennessean
Dec. 22, 2011

A Robertson County toddler, through his mother, is suing the doctor that delivered him. The lawsuit claims Matthew Allen Marlin was left for dead in a plastic bin for more than four hours before a nurse noticed he was alive and gasping for breath.

According to the lawsuit filed Wednesday against Dr. John W. O'Donnell III in Robertson County Circuit Court, Marlin was born early June 13, 2009, with irregular gasping breaths and heart rate, and a nurse noted that he "made a small cry at delivery and had movement of arms and legs."

"The baby was fighting for his life and Dr. O'Donnell decided on his own - without any consultation from anyone else - that the baby had no chance of living," the lawsuit states.

Marlin was put in a plastic bin and left on a counter "until the family could decide what to do with the body," but a nurse who passed the area noticed he was gasping for breath a few hours later, according to the lawsuit.

Marlin received resuscitation therapy and was transferred from NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where he remained for three months receiving specialized care, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims O'Donnell was negligent and that Marlin suffered a brain injury and other injuries and damages because the doctor did not provide "timely and appropriate diagnosis, intervention, treatment, and care."

"In the complaint, we claim that a pediatrician should have been called immediately to resuscitate the baby, and the baby should have been sent to a neonatal intensive care unit," said Nashville medical malpractice attorney Randy Kinnard, who represents Marlin and his mother, Jennifer Marie Marlin. "That did not happen."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory damages.

Officials at NorthCrest Medical Center said O'Donnell no longer works there. Attempts to reach O'Donnell at home were not successful.

According to Tennessee Department of Health records, O'Donnell has no history of medical malpractice claims or Board of Medical Examiners violations. O'Donnell's medical license expired in May, according to the department.

Related stories:

Doctor Accused Of Leaving Newborn For Dead
Dec 22, 2011

Mother says disabled baby is due to doctor negligence / WSMV-TV Nashville
Dec 22, 2011

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