BEAUMONT – A Jefferson County jury will decide whether a physician and medical center were negligent in the delivery of Baby Olivia Coats, whose skull was allegedly crushed by forceps.

The litigation was first brought by Trent Coats, the baby’s father, against Dr. George Backardjiev, the delivering physician, on Aug. 6, 2014.

A second amended petition, brought by Rachael Melancon, the baby’s mother, was filed in April, naming Backardjiev and the Medical Center of Southeast Texas as defendants.

The case was called up for trial Aug. 1 and is expected to last at least two weeks.

According to the lawsuit, Melancon was admitted for delivery on Dec. 26, 2013. Baby Olivia was born two days later. During the delivery, Backardjiev repeatedly kept applying forceps, refusing to consent to a cesarean delivery until after his fourth attempt failed.

“After birth, it was determined that baby Olivia suffered intracranial ischemic injuries,” the suit states. “She was transferred to Houston to Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital.”

Radiologic studies revealed a partial skull fracture and other severe injuries. She died Jan. 1, 2014 after being taken off life support.

The suit further accuses Backardjiev of using Pitocin during labor despite Olivia having an abnormal fetal heart rate.

Backardjiev and the Medical Center are accused of gross negligence.

The plaintiffs will ask jurors to award exemplary damages.

Beaumont attorney Malachi Daws represents the plaintiffs.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. B-195944

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