A mom who suffered the loss of a stillborn child unwittingly buried the remains of the wrong baby because of a mistake by an Upper East Side hospital, new court papers allege.
Rimma Avany says the error — in which she only found out months after the burial that Lenox Hill Hospital had given her another child’s remains — left her so devastated that she had to seek medical treatment.
“Avany suffered an emotional breakdown because of the defendants’ negligence,” the suit, filed Monday, claims.
The compounded trauma for Avany began on on Aug. 16, 2018, when the child, who was a twin, was stillborn at Lenox Hill.
Five days later, Avany had a closed casket burial for the infant, who was named Sophia, at Moravian Cemetery on Staten Island, according to her Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.
Then on Dec. 5 of that year, the chair of the obstetrics department called Avany asking for “instructions for the remains of the stillborn twin” — whom she believed she had already buried, the suit alleges.
Avany was then forced to endure a second burial on Dec. 11 for what the court papers call “the actual remains,” of her daughter.
“[Sophia’s] remains were misplaced by the hospital, the wrong remains were given to [Avany], who buried the remains, and ultimately was advised that the remains previously buried were not the remains of the deceased child,” the court papers charge. “And thereafter [Avany] had to bury the actual remains.”
The suit does say who the remains that Avany first buried belong to or how their disposition was handled.
Avany is suing the hospital, its parent company Northwell Health Inc. and Brooklyn funeral home Coney Island Memorial Chapel Inc. for unspecified damages.
Hospital spokesperson Margarita Oksenkrug told The Post by email she can’t comment on pending litigation.
“Northwell Health and Lenox Hill Hospital extend our deepest sympathies to the Avany family for the loss of their child,” Oksenkrug’s statement continued. “We place the highest value on patient safety and patient care.”
Avany declined to comment.
The funeral home did not immediately return a request for comment.
Similar lawsuits have been brought in New York against against a hospital and a funeral home for other mixups involving the alleged botched handling of loved ones’ remains.
Brooklyn couple Tiffany Griffin and Cordero Pridgen sued Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center last November for $10 million claiming the city-run hospital wrongfully cremated and then lost the remains of their stillborn son in November 2018. That case is still pending.
In August 2018, Long Island’s Lake Ronkonkoma Moloney Funeral Home allegedly gave the ashes of a dad to the wrong grieving family — who then traveled thousands of miles away to scatter his remains, a Nassau Supreme Court lawsuit alleged at the time. That case is pending trial.
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