Illinois Hospital Sued for Pressuring Patient to Get Abortion After Medical Error

Law Firm Newswire



Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) August 7, 2019 – An Illinois woman filed a lawsuit against UnityPoint Health-Methodist alleging that hospital employees pressured her to undergo an abortion even though she did not want to terminate her pregnancy. She claimed they were trying to cover up a medical error in which she was mistakenly given a drug that carries a risk of serious birth defects. The complaint was filed in Peoria County Circuit Court.

Reneizha Morris, 23, learned of her pregnancy in November 2017 after being admitted to the Peoria hospital for a separate medical issue. A sonogram indicated she was seven weeks along and had a normal pregnancy. The lawsuit claimed hospital staff mistakenly injected Morris with methotrexate, a drug that can cause severe birth injuries in babies. The injection was administered without Morris’ consent.


“Drug errors can have devastating consequences, as seen in this case, in which a woman’s pregnancy was harmed through no fault of her own,” commented Paul Greenberg, a personal injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, who is not involved with the case. “The hospital needs to be held accountable for the negligence of its staff and for failing to take Ms. Morris’ wishes into consideration. Individuals who have suffered from medical errors should speak to an attorney.”

According to the lawsuit, doctors met with Morris twice after the medical error occurred to warn her about pregnancy risks. She stated she still wanted to have the baby despite the warnings. After that, UnityPoint Health-Methodist’s risk manager allegedly called Morris’ home twice and eventually gave her $2,000 in cash to pay for a consultation at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Chicago area.

The complaint said Morris did not want to have the abortion. However, she ultimately gave in after a series of meeting because she felt pressured by the hospital’s risk management team. She underwent the procedure to terminate her pregnancy on December 15, 2017.

The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $50,000 in compensatory damages. It alleged the hospital’s records did not list the risk manager’s calls with Morris and document exactly how and when she decided to get an abortion.

In addition, UnityPoint Health-Methodist failed to inform Morris that the medical error could mean the hospital was legally responsible for covering the baby’s health care costs linked to the potential birth injury. “There was a possibility that this information could help her decide to carry the child to term,” the suit said.

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