A Georgia doctor who was sued by a couple who accused him of posting their decapitated newborn baby on social media has been found liable in court. 

Dr. Jackson Gates and his business, Medical Diagnostic Choices, were sued in civil court by Jessica Ross and Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Sr. in September.

They had hired him to perform an independent autopsy on their baby, who they called Baby Isaiah, who died as Ross was in delivery in July 2023, and he allegedly posted “graphic and grisly” videos of the autopsy on social media without the parents’ knowledge or consent. 

On Thursday, a Fulton County judge granted a default judgement against Gates and his business because they failed to respond to the civil suit. They were found liable of intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and fraud. 

However, the merits of the claims in the suit were not determined. A bench trial will determine the amount of damages owed to the parents. 

NBC News has reached out to an attorney for the couple for comment.

Gates told NBC News Monday that what he did was not a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as HIPAA, which protects sensitive patient health information from being disclosed.

“The HIPAA clause states that as a physician, I am within my capability of letting the public know when there’s a safety issue in healthcare, this baby was murdered,” he said, adding no one would have known about the case had he not spoken about it. 

“I have not violated HIPAA, it is not required by a physician to get consent to report a crime or some sort of health issue to the public,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years, publishing my autopsy cases to explain to the public the victimization of those persons who have died.”

Ross and Taylor’s baby was dead at the time of his delivery on July 10, 2023, according to the complaint.

On July 12, Ross signed a contract with Gates to conduct an autopsy of Baby Isaiah in exchange for $2,500. That contact, however, did not give Gates or his business permission to release the postmortem examination, its results, nor photographs or video taken from it to the public. But on July 14, Gates uploaded a video to his Instagram account that showed “in graphic and grisly detail a postmortem examination of the decapitated, severed head of Baby Isaiah,” the complaint said.

He then removed that video and on July 21, posted two more on Instagram from the examination, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs later learned about the videos and felt “shock, anger humiliation and outrage.” 

Their attorneys sent a cease and desist letter to Gates in August to remove the videos. 

Ultimately, the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Baby Isaiah’s death as a homicide caused by “actions of another person.” The baby’s death directly resulted from a fracture of cervical vertebrae in the spine, it said.

The couple also had filed a lawsuit against the hospital and obstetrician who helped birthed the baby claiming that complications in the delivery led to the child’s death. 

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