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Expired Medical Malpractice Suit Seeks Reinstatement in California Case

Using a California law that allows claims to be filed late if minor mistakes were made a Stockton, CA couple is seeking permission to be allowed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit regarding the death of their newborn. 

The suit would allege that the San Joaquin General Hospital was responsible for failing to detect the conditions of the baby that led to its death.  The parents, Melissa Ratto and Marcus Ellsworth Jr., say that the hospital, doctors and staff, failed to notice that the baby had problems while in the womb.

On December 21, 2004, during the last stages of her pregnancy, Ratto noticed dark brown urine coloration and went to see her doctor, Dr. Crisoforo Garza, who told her that nothing was wrong and sent her home.  Two days later Ratto went into labor and for 11 hours Dr. Garza never checked the baby’s status via monitor or performed any extra measures to determine if there was any problem with the delivery.

The baby was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.  The baby was taken to a San Francisco hospital where emergency measures were taken but the baby died shortly afterwards.

The staff of the couple’s law firm incorrectly filed the lawsuit and the suit’s deadline passed and was denied by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors because it was a couple of days late.  Now the couple must appeal to a judge to overturn the deadline.

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