Could you imagine being kept in solitary confinement in an isolated jail cell? As bad as that might be, a Texas woman was forced to endure not only that, but also giving birth alone in her solitary jail cell. To make matters worse, this resulted in the death of her newborn baby.
Nicole Guerrero is now suing the police. According to a federal lawsuit she filed, Nicole Guerrero explains that “Wichita County denied [her] access to reasonable medical care … ignored her obvious signs of labor and constant requests for medical assistance, failed to conduct a physical examination … when she began to display obvious signs of labor, left [her] unattended in a solitary cell while she was obviously in labor, failed to transport [her] to the hospital for safe delivery, which ultimately caused [her] to deliver her baby alone in the solitary cell, and resulted in [her] suffering severe and likely permanent, physical and psychological injuries.”
So far, the Wichita County has refused to comment on the case.
“We are prohibited [from talking] about pending litigation in Texas because we are representing the county in this case,” the Wichita County District Attorney Maureen Shelton said of himself and officers.
The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas released to the document which names as defendants Wichita County, the Sheriff’s Office, registered nurse LaDonna Anderson, and Correctional Healthcare Management, Inc., Anderson’s employer.
It all started when Guerrero had been arrested on drug possession charges back on June 2, 2012. By June 11, she was told by a doctor who had been assigned to treat her for an infection, that unbeknownst to her, she was eight and a half months pregnant.
The warden and prison guards were informed about this, but she was kept in solitary confinement nevertheless. But soon she began experiencing pain and cramping, so she asked for help.
A nurse came and said she was not in labor, so guards returned her solitary confinement, where she suffered for hours, crying out for help, finally giving birth.
By 5 a.m. on June 12, a detention officer walking by saw that her cries were real, and that she was in fact in labor. He helped her deliver the baby, but because no help had come sooner, the umbilical cord had been wrapped around its neck.
CPR was performed on the baby but it was too late. The lawsuit accuses Anderson and Correctional Healthcare Management of medical malpractice. It says that there was a violation of Guerrero’s due process rights under the 14th Amendment as she was deprived of access to reasonable medical care
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(Article by Jackson Marciana; image via Getty used for illustrative purposes)