Lawsuit filed after inmate gives birth alone in Denver jail cell

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • A woman who gave birth by herself in a Denver jail cell last year is filing a lawsuit Wednesday against the city.
  • Diana Sanchez claimed that deputies and nurses ignored her cries for help during the five hours in labor and her baby had not been given immediate care.
  • In 2018, Sanchez told Denver station KDVR-TV that inmates are viewed as ‘garbage’ in jail.

A woman who gave birth by herself in a Denver jail cell is filing a lawsuit Wednesday against the city claiming that deputies and nurses ignored her cries for help during the five hours in labor.

Diana Sanchez’ lawyer Mari Newman, released silent surveillance video clips of Sanchez crying out in pain, eventually delivering a baby boy alone on July 31, 2018. The clip also showed 45 minutes before giving birth, an absorbent pad was shoved under her door for her to put on her bed. Afterwards, a nurse walked in and picks up the baby.

The lawsuit stated that jail officials “cruelly chose convenience over compassion” for failing to call for an ambulance after Sanchez’ water broke. Although a van was requested to take Sanchez to a hospital, jail staff also knew it isn’t likely that the ride would be available until the morning booking process was over.

Further, the lawsuit wrote that for several minutes, no nurse came to dry, warm and clear mucus from the baby’s mouth, and that there was no available equipment to cut the baby’s umbilical cord.  It was only done when firefighters arrived 15 minutes after the baby was born.

“To characterize it as medical care is a joke,” said Newman, who added that the open toilet which was several feet away from where Sanchez gave birth was blacked out by the city in the video.

On Thursday, the Denver County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that their policies have long since been changed to make sure pregnant inmates in labor will be transported immediately to the hospital. Department spokeswoman Daria Serna also added that deputies are now authorized to call for an ambulance for inmates in any stage of labor, unlike before when only jail nurses made the decisions.

While Denver Health did not provide comments on the pending lawsuit, it instead, defended its work in the jail.

“Denver Health provides high quality medical care to thousands of inmates every year,” said their spokesman Simon Crittle.

Sanchez, who was not available for comment, told Denver station KDVR-TV last year that inmates are viewed as ‘garbage’ in jail.

“I know I was there because I was at fault for that I did wrong — and I didn’t deserve that and especially not my baby,” she told the news outlet which first reported about the delivery.

 

Source: CBS News

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