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Autopsy Doc Found Liable for Posting Decapitated Newborn Picture on Instagram

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Getty Images

An Atlanta doctor was found liable Wednesday for emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and fraud after the grieving parents of a decapitated newborn baby sued him for posting videos of their child’s lifeless body on Instagram.

Both Dr. Jackson Gates and his business, Medical Diagnostic Choices, entered a default judgement Wednesday after they failed to respond to a civil complaint filed by Jessica Ross and Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, citing records.

Now Gates is on the hook for damages, but a Georgia judge is yet to set a date to determine just how much he’ll have to pay up.

It’s the latest development in the horrific fallout of the death of Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr., who died from a broken neck at childbirth in July after he suffered from the rare birth complication shoulder dystocia—where one or both of baby’s shoulders become locked in the mother’s pelvis.

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The Clayton County Medical Examiner ruled the child’s death a homicide two months later, and his parents sued the hospital and doctor who delivered the child, accusing them of trying to cover up possible missteps.

In that lawsuit, they claimed that hospital staff discouraged them from having an autopsy done and wrapped the baby tightly with his “head propped on top of his body” when they asked to see him—never alerting them that the child was decapitated. They’ve called for a criminal probe into the incident and, through an attorney, claimed their obstetrician applied “excessive traction on the baby’s neck” during childbirth.

The parents said they paid Gates $2,500 to conduct a private autopsy to see if it would shed more light on what happened. That proved to do more harm than good, however, as they claimed Gates posted three graphic videos of their infant son’s postmortem examination on his public Instagram account, which has since been set to private.

Taylor and Ross’ lawsuit reportedly said the sight of their child’s body and head on social media made them feel shock, anger, humiliation, and outrage.

The parents filed a lawsuit against Gates in September, and the doctor never acted in retaliation to it. He declined to comment on the case to the Journal-Constitution on Thursday.

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