Lynda Williams, a Brooklyn mother, who gave birth in 2008, has been fighting a legal battle with the Long Island College Hospital for switching her baby with another woman's child.
She claims that hospital workers had accidentally done the switch and her baby had even been breast-fed by another woman, while she was sleeping. She discovered the error that the hospital had tried to cover up, through her pediatrician who had overheard nurses talking about the incident in the hospital.
AdvertisementTo Williams' demand for information about the woman who had breastfed her baby, whether she smoked or drank or had any disease, the hospital has cited privacy laws in its refusal to disclose anything. The courts too have declared that since the child was a healthy 3-year old now, it is a non-issue.
Williams proceeded to sue the hospital, claiming "extreme emotional pain, suffering and anxiety." She claims that she has to live with the trauma of not being sure whether even now she has got her own child. She is not ready to do a DNA test, since she claims that she loves the child. Nevertheless, she claims, "I spent many sleepless nights. I have cried because I am not 100 percent sure she's mine. She doesn't look anything like me." Although now, she adds that she has been reassured that her child has started to look like her father.
A Supreme Court justice had ruled that Williams' suit could proceed, but an appellate panel has supported the hospital.
Williams has decided to continue the fight and take the case to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.