Orange County to pay $480,000 over delayed treatment of pregnant inmate who miscarried

Sandra Quinones was pregnant and in the Orange County Jail on a parole violation when her waters ruptured.

It took MPs two hours to respond to the homeless woman’s call for help, then stopped at Starbucks on the way to the hospital; Chinones, 28, lost the pregnancy.

On Tuesday, the Orange County board of directors unanimously voted to pay Quinones, now 34, $480,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging delay in medical treatment during the March 2016 emergency. The lawmakers chose not to call an ambulance, then acted “with further willful indifference” to their medical needs when they stopped for Starbucks rather than taking quinones straight to the hospital, their lawsuit said.

Quinones’ lawyer, Richard Herman, said his client was “dysfunctional” and homeless and had mental health issues, but persisted with her case. “She understands that she’s been wronged,” Herman said.

Her lawsuit was dismissed in federal court in October 2020, but was reinstated by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals the following year.

“She has followed this case tenaciously, including all of its ups and downs,” Herman said. “It was a long, hard fight. We are pleased that this has come to a successful conclusion.”

County officials confirmed the settlement amount and produced court documents, but declined to comment on the case. Sergeant Scott Steinle, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, said law enforcement had no comment.

Herman couldn’t say Wednesday how many months pregnant his client was, but confirmed she had suffered a miscarriage. Her condition is no excuse for prison staff to treat her this way, he added.

“The Orange County jail can sink to the deepest depths,” Herman told The Times on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, this is not the only reason.”

The lawsuit found that Quinones spent “considerable time” in prison following her miscarriage, but Herman said she is currently not in custody and is living with her mother.

Zachary Schwartz, an attorney representing the county, could not be reached for comment.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-24/she-went-into-labor-at-o-c-jail-and-miscarried-years-later-a-480-000-settlement Orange County to pay $480,000 over delayed treatment of pregnant inmate who miscarried

Alley Einstein

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