25 Investigates

25 Investigates: Family of lost premature baby urging hospital for more transparency, security video

BOSTON — The lawyer representing the parents of a premature baby whose remains were mistakenly discarded at a Boston hospital says the hospital is now fighting the release of security footage and other evidence.

Attorney Greg Henning says Brigham and Women’s Hospital has released four hours of the 144 hours of security footage he requested from the hospital’s morgue area. Henning says he believes more evidence — like internal emails and days of security footage — will help him prove the hospital was aware of problems with the morgue’s management and conditions.

He also says such records could reveal if the hospital ever lost any other remains.

“We’re not looking for the names of families that have had to suffer the trauma of losing a child,” Henning said in an interview with 25 Investigates following a Jan. 19 court hearing. “We’re just looking for whether it’s happened.”

Lawyers for the hospital and its employees say they have provided hundreds of files concerning the baby, and that it’s only withholding items considered medically privileged.

“This is how hospitals work,” attorney Allyson N. Hammerstedt, who represented Brigham and Women’s, said at the court hearing. “They self-scrutinize. They convene these committees to evaluate systems errors, and potentially human errors.”

Parents Alana Ross and Daniel McCarthy, of Sharon, had learned they were expecting a baby on February 20, 2020.

The child, Everleigh, was born prematurely on July 25, 2020 at the hospital and suffered from medical complications. She was immediately taken to the NICU for treatment.

Everleigh was born three months early and weighed just two pounds five ounces. She lived 12 days. Hospital employees then brought her to a basement morgue.

But when workers from a Norwood funeral home went to retrieve her four days later, her remains could not be located and have never been discovered.

Ross and McCarthy are seeking more than $1.3 million in damages claiming negligence and intentional inflection of emotional distress.

The baby’s remains were nowhere to be found and likely thrown away with “soiled linens” from the morgue, according to a Boston Police report.

“We’re asking for video to cover the six days from when baby Everleigh went missing until the police concluded their investigation,” Henning said during the January court hearing.

The judge in the lawsuit, filed last June in Suffolk Superior Court, has ordered the hospital to create what’s known as a privilege log.

That means hospital lawyers will have to describe any items of evidence they want withheld — and justify why it should be considered privileged.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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