Texas couple filed a lawsuit Tuesday afternoon alleging negligence and gross negligence against Huguley Memorial Medical Center of Fort Worth following a July incident where hospital staff sent their newborn's corpse to the cleaners with the dirty laundry.

According to the lawsuit, it took the hospital staff 19 hours to locate the missing body. By then the unpreserved body had been crushed and disfigured.

On July 8, Kourtney McGee of Cleburne, Texas, was in her second trimester when she went to Huguley because she was bleeding. She gave birth prematurely to Jacob Dwayne Robinson, who did not survive.

Staff told McGee and Milburn "Pete" Robinson of Alvarado, Texas, the baby's father, that the body would be taken the morgue. However, when the funeral director arrived at the hospital, he was told the body could not be found. The baby's body was not refrigerated when it got to the morgue. Instead it was sent to a commercial cleaner with the laundry.

The lawsuit contends that Huguley Memorial Medical Center had a duty to care for, handle, maintain and/or prepare for burial the body of Jacob Robinson. It breached its duty by "mishandling, misplacing, and disfiguring the body ..."

According to the lawsuit, the family has sustained "severe emotional distress and mental anguish" and are seeking punitive and exemplary damages.

How did the baby end up in the laundry? It's unclear.

"That's one of the things we want to know," said attorney John David Hart of Fort Worth, who is representing the couple. "How could this happen, that these parents lost their child, lost their son, then the hospital doesn't have a procedure or policy in place for dealing with it."

What is the hospital's response?

"Our sympathies go to a family obviously who had a stillborn situation _ everyone feels bad about that," said attorney Michael Stewart of Dallas, who is representing Huguley. "As for the allegations, we deny those and we deny that the hospital has done anything inappropriate."

With pending litigation, Stewart declined to release more information on the case.

SOURCE: Fort Worth Star-Telegram