Kimberly's Case: The Resolution
March 17, 2017
BENEFITING: Improving Birth
This is an ongoing fundraiser for Kimberly Turbin who is a small but mighty woman who endured a forced episiotomy (which was caught on video) after repeatedly saying, "No," then managed, with her statute of limitations looming, to file an assault and battery lawsuit PRO SE (meaning, without a lawyer) after more than 80 lawyers turned down her case. More than one year later, she and her legal team led by Sacramento attorney Mark Merin, finally had their first court hearing in Los Angeles where a judge heard oral argument from each of Kimberly's attorney's and the doctor's attorney. The arguments were about whether Kimberly's case should be dismissed on the basis that it is actually a negligence claim that was barred by an expired statute of limitations.
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UPDATE: 6/10/2016: Some really exciting news today! Kimberly Turbin finally had her first day in court.
LA County Superior Court Judge Benny C. Osorio has ruled that Turbin v. Abbassi was properly and timely plead as a battery lawsuit. The judge was not interested in the other side's insinuations that the episiotomy was necessary and a decision for the doctor to make. Judge Osorio inquired why there were so many people in the courtroom, and Improving Birth President Dawn Thompson promptly informed his clerk that this is an unprecedented case of national interest about the legal rights of childbearing people, and that the women in the courtroom represented a cross section of Kimberly's supporters. Asked how she feels, Kimberly said, "I feel like crying. That the judge agreed it was a battery makes me feel validated."
Raising money for Kimberly's case is an ongoing goal. We've only reached 28% of our goal so far. Please consider a contribution to her case. If every American woman who had a non-consented episiotomy *in the year 2013 alone* gave just 50 cents, Kelly could easily fund the entire cost of the case--estimated at between $50,000 and $100,000. (Calculation here.)
Thank you for your support!
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UPDATE, 4/16/15: Kelly is filing a lawsuit! We exceeded our initial goal (within just a few hours!) of $1,500 for her filing expenses.
We are still asking for donations towards the cost of the case--estimated by one lawyer to be between $50,000 and $100,000--and expenses involved in bringing the case. Even if a lawyer steps up to take Kelly's case on contingency bases, there may be tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.
She is being supported every step of the way by a team that includes the president and vice president of Improving Birth and representatives (including lawyers) from Human Rights in Childbirth and the Birth Rights Bar Association, who have volunteered thousands of dollars worth of time and resources.
Please help Kelly meet this deadline and get her lawsuit filed. This initial $1,500 will cover her filing fees, process server fees, lost wages for her to take off work, and travel expenses from where she now lives, several hours away from where she had her baby. It is only a fraction of the estimated cost to litigate her case (between $50,000 and $100,000), but it’s a necessary step if she will ever be able to seek justice in a court of law. Read more about Kelly's story here.
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"Kelly," whose forced episiotomy was caught on video, has not yet secured an attorney. Her statute of limitations runs out at the beginning of May 2015.
So, she will be filing suit against her doctor, representing herself.