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Parents sue over woman's home birth death

Dec. 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM

KINGSVILLE, Mo., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The parents of a Kingsville, Mo., woman who died after giving birth to a stillborn baby say their daughter received inadequate medical care, causing her death.

The wrongful-death suit was filed in 2009 by Darrell and Gail Mansfield on behalf of their daughter, Misty Mansfield, and grandchild, Sydney Mansfield, who was was stillborn, began last week in a Missouri courtroom, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported.

Misty Mansfield gave birth to Sydney on Dec. 6, 2006, after at least four days of labor. About a month later, Mansfield died when blood poisoning and infection reached her heart and uterus, her death certificate said.

Mansfield's parents alleged that their daughter died because her partner, Caleb Horner, prevented her from getting proper medical care after she gave birth. Horner is part of a religious sect that prohibits medical care and instead relies on God to heal.

The lawsuit also alleges that unlicensed midwives cut Misty Mansfield with dirty scissors to deliver a breech baby.

Horner, his brother John Horner, midwives Amber Leathers and Carol Balizet, and three ministries in Texas and Colorado are all listed as defendants in the suit.

Another midwife -- Wendi Nield -- on Thursday agreed to settle the case for $300,000, but denied liability, court records show.

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