Brooklyn Mom Vows To Continue Fight Against Hospital In Alleged Breastfeeding Mix-Up

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The mother of an infant allegedly nursed by the wrong mother is vowing to keep fighting in court to hold the hospital accountable.

Jayln Williams is a healthy 3-year-old, but her mother, Lynda, wasn’t always so sure she would be when she was born at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn in 2008.

Williams said that on one occasion, nurses switched Jayln with another baby and that a different mother breastfed the girl. When nurses told her about the mistake, she was furious and scared.

“I was in tears for many days and many nights,” she told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne.

Williams said she had many questions for the hospital, including “did she smoke? Did she drink? Does she have any disease? Can you tell me anything about her? Who is she? Can I meet her? And the answer to all these questions was ‘no we have to protect her privacy.'”

Williams sued the hospital for negligence and won. However, the hospital appealed the ruling and last week, the state Supreme Court decided the hospital was not at fault.

A copy of the court’s written decision specifically states that the hospital did “not have a duty to take care of Lynda Williams or her baby.”

“They’re saying that you could be pregnant, come into our hospital and we can give your baby away and we’re not going to be responsible. You want to know that the hospital that you’re going to is going to take care of your baby,” Williams said.

“There’s nothing now to prevent the hospital from delivering the wrong child either to the wrong mother or feeding or even for discharge home,” Williams’ Attorney, Lisa Pashkoff, said.

Hospital officials wouldn’t speak on camera but, in a written statement said the following:

“Long Island College Hospital was very pleased the Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in our favor and dismissed the action against us.”

Williams said she wants the hospital to admit they made a mistake and do so publicly. She vowed to continue fighting the case in the courts to prove a point.

SOUND-OFF: Do you believe the hospital was guilty of negligence?  Agree with the Court of Appeals’ decision? Let us know in the comments section below…

  • Lili

    Everyone seems to assume that she is suing for damages. However, according to the article, she just wants them to admit they made a mistake.

    Even if she were suing for damages, the court could easily say that yes, the hospital was at fault and is responsible for treating their CUSTOMER like a person, but that no, they won’t award financial damages, only court costs.

    Ad hominem arguments along the lines of “she just wants money” are insulting to us all. Not everyone who goes to civil court wants cash. Some people actually want justice.

    • Mary Jane

      After reading your comment, I thought differently. I thought she just wanted to sue in order to get monetary compensation. The article does say she “SUED”, but it was “overturned”. If she simply wants an apology, and admission of an error. ok. In the News she was asked if she wanted a DNA to prove it is her child, she’s not interested in a DNA. The hospital did admit to an error. I still she wants monetary compensation, for the distress she experienced two years ago.

  • sk

    yes the hospital was very negligent, an dit does sound like a crazy place to give birth! however, this mother is way overreacting! this happened three years and her child is now fine. she should be thank ful she has a healthy child and not worry about how much monet she should win from a lawsuit!

  • Christi

    I am as pro breastfeeding as they come and would love to bring back wet nurses. But I would NEVER want someone to breast feed my child (or even feed them in general) without my knowledge and consent. We as parents have to start taking more responsibility in our roles as well. If you don’t want your baby to be mixed up, don’t allow it to be taken from your room! Even better, look into home birth! Unless you have a medical need, birth is not a medical condition. Were the nurses wrong? Absolutely. Was the MOM wrong? Yes! Informed consent. Know your rights and don’t just blindly follow what the hospital says.

  • Shanaenae D'Brickashaw

    She should go for the jugular over that inane decision.

  • nie

    Oh please … the baby is fine. It was one time and for a very short period. Has anybody ever heard of a wet nurse?

    After seeing this woman on the news, I’d say she has bigger problems than this issue. She is allowing something that happened 3 years ago dictate her life today. Her little girl is beautiful and obviously suffered no ill side affects from the couple minutes of breastfeeding. How about she learned how to celebrate her daughter’s life with happiness and joy rather than stress and anger over a minor event? Does the mom realize that her present behavior is causing more damage than a couple of ounces of breast milk did 3 years ago.

    • KPMc

      But if she moved on with her life who would give her millions of dollars?

    • Informed

      NIE stated: Oh please … the baby is fine. It was one time and for a very short period. Has anybody ever heard of a wet nurse?

      After “SEEING” this woman on the news, .. Her little girl ….obviously suffered no ill side affects from the couple minutes of breastfeeding.:

      NIE, you along with the others are pretty IGNORANT to vent about a couple minutes of “harmless” bodily secretions and fluids in this day and age.

      I would suggest that you discuss this with your Dr. Or at the free clinic.
      I’ll spell the Moms PROPER concern: A I D S…now you try and spell it.

      Other parents care also. Appeal Mom, you will prevail.

  • KPMc

    If the child is fine what is the big deal 3 years later? Oh that’s right… someone’s looking for a lawsuit so they can keep their lazy butt at home. A mistake happened… your child is fine… be thankful and move on.

    “Williams said she wants the hospital to admit they made a mistake and do so publicly. She vowed to continue fighting the case in the courts to prove a point.”

    And then she wants several million dollars so she can be another selfish lazy leech on society.

    • Wally

      KP, step away from the Mc MAC K , stand up so your brain can get air.
      I am not aware of any millionaire leeches on society.

  • Cath

    First of all, why was this baby away from the mother in the first place? Are there really still hospitals that have nurseries for babies (other than NICUs)? I thought that practice was long gone and rooming in was the norm, to facilitate bonding and breastfeeding and to prevent mix ups. I never allowed any of my three newborns out of the sight of my husband or I for a second.

    I feel the hospital (nursing staff) made an error and new policies should be put into place to prevent this from happening again. This was obviously a traumatizing experience for this new mother. Not to mention the other mother involved who nursed the wrong baby. Luckily, the chances of a health problem developing in the baby were slim to none after one nursing session.

    • Teak

      some take the babies to the nursery upon mothers request. when i had my daughter they didn’t let me have her in the room until 4 hours after birth because i had an IV in. I attempted to argue but was too exhausted… I went in to get her and was overwelmed by the number of babies in the nursery! I didn’t even know where to begin looking! terrifying.

      with my son I was in a small hospital with no nursery and only 5 babys (mine was the only boy) so when i was exhausted (c-section so everything was hard to do) they offered to take him in his bassinet to behind the nurses desk and watch him for a while. after an hour long nap i came out to find the nurses arguing over who got to hold him lol

      if i ever have another child I’m INSISTING on having it in the room with me at all times. this story is terrifying.. goodness only knows what the women could have had!

  • Rodin

    What nonsense!

  • Carrie S

    It’s shouldn’t matter who has to pay. The hospital made a huge mistake and they need to take responsability for their actions. What would have happened if they didn’t realize what happened and the babies got switched for good? Would it be a problem to you then? What if this was you and your baby? Would you feel differently? I’m sure you would. After making a mistake like they did, They could have answered the questions of the mother to put her mind at ease. Mabey not disclose the other persons name, But at least assure that there was no issuses at hand to cause for concern as far as health of the baby goes. What if by switching the babies, her daughter refused to then breast feed from the natural mother? That can happen also. There was a huge mistake and reguardless on who has to pay for it, we go to hospitals to get care and put our children and ourselves in there hands. Bottom line….Never should have happened and they need to take responsability. Totally on mothers side. Knowing this now, I would never go to that hospital. I’d travel further to one that I knew I could trust. Put yourself in hr shoes. Then mabey you’d have a different point of view.

  • shanna

    It’s one thing to say that the hospital is wrong and another to say that she should take that fact to the bank. You know who ends up paying for the lawsuit? Everyone does. Hospitals have to pay more and more money for insurance, and in turn they charge patients more and more to cover that cost. It’s already hard to find an OB because the Ob/Gyns realized they could make a lot more money without having to pay the outrageous litigation insurance that OBs must pay.

    Why do the people of this country insist that a mistake is their chance to get rich? The money that hospitals and businesses lose in lawsuits just gets charged to the next person that walks in the door.

    Her daughter was not damaged by the error: why will money make the error okay?

    • Insight

      Hey Shanna, three questions for you.

      1.How much is your life worth?

      Im sure all the money you have would be handed straight over if you were living a life struggling with HIV and the money side of things wouldnt even be an issue.

      2.How angry would you be if this error caused you and your baby to live a life with HIV?

      You’re right that money wont make an error this serious okay, however it may make the hospital insure that this mistake will never happen again and this woman is fighting a battle not just for herself but for every Mother that walks through the hospital doors to give birth.

      It is one thing to say a hopital is not responcible for care, but its another to be the cause of a potentially life threatening life altering mistake and to then cause fear and harm to both child and Mother.

      What would you suggest Mothers do when things go wrong at the fault of the hospital?

      Would you shrug and just say oh well never mind that my daughter got HIV, Oh well, never mind that I got the wrong child and someone else has mine, Oh well at least I dont have to pay for insurance.

      Now go back to my first two questions..

      Maybe you should be a little more greatful that this woman is fighting a battle with her own time and money, that one day you may benifit from.

  • Skipper

    Oh, I just love.this “it’s not my responsibility” mode currently running through this country much to our detriment. If hospitals are no longer responsible for their errors who can you trust? A higher court needs to overturn this ruling.


    yes! the hospital is not good

  • Joe

    The hospital has a duty under State Health laws to insure that nothing like this would happen. If not then the safe place to have a baby is at home.

  • JLPerry

    I can only imagine what the hospitals stance would have been if it was discovered that the woman who breastfed the child, had multiple diseases. If the hospital and the employees are not responsible, then who is???????

  • Angry mom

    hell yeah the hospital is at fault. it was their job to bring her the right baby from the nursery and they failed to do so. what if the baby was affected by this? Imagine if she would have taken that baby home. Total neglect. i hope who ever made the mistake was fired. It wasn’t the moms fault so the hospital should just own up to their neglectful mistake and apologize. Stop making excuses. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

  • Mark

    Simple The hopital was wrong. When you’re there in their facility they are responsibile for your care, well-being and safety. This case should be overturned by a higher court.

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