Inmate claims she gave birth alone in solitary, baby dies

NEWS >> CRIME Prison, Jail Cells

(CNN) — A Texas woman claims she was forced to give birth alone in jail during a horrific night in solitary confinement nearly two years ago, and that her baby died because of it, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week.

Nicole Guerrero

Nicole Guerrero

Nicole Guerrero alleges in legal documents 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.”

Wichita County isn’t talking about the case.

“We are prohibited (from talking) about pending litigation in Texas because we are representing the county in this case,” said Wichita County District Attorney Maureen Shelton.

The lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas, names as defendants Wichita County, the Sheriff’s Office, registered nurse LaDonna Anderson, and Correctional Healthcare Management, Inc., Anderson’s employer.

Here’s what Guerrero says happened, according to court documents:

She was arrested on drug possession charges on June 2, 2012. After visiting her doctor for an infection on June 11, while still in custody, Guerrero says her doctor told her she was 8½ months pregnant. According to the legal complaint, once Guerrero was returned to jail she experienced severe pain and cramping. She said she was checked out by the nurse on duty, identified in court documents as Anderson, late on the night of June 11. Anderson determined at that time Guerrero was not in labor, according to the legal documents.

The complaint then detailed a night spent in solitary confinement, during which Guerrero claims she tried to get medical attention throughout the night and into the early morning hours as her pain worsened, but that she was ignored by Anderson and the guards on duty. Finally, Guerrero said, around 5 a.m. on June 12, a detention officer walking by her cell helped her deliver the baby. The court filing said the baby was not breathing when it was born and that the umbilical cord was wrapped around its neck.

Guerrero says in court papers that no CPR was performed on the baby and that it was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Guerrero alleged she was still kept in solitary confinement, without medical help, after the baby was taken away.

Guerrero’s lawsuit accuses Anderson and Correctional Healthcare Management of medical malpractice.

Her attorney Rick Bunch said Wichita County and Sheriff David Duke violated her due process rights under the 14th Amendment by depriving her of access to reasonable medical care, according to CNN affiliate KFDX.

CNN contacted the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson and Correctional Healthcare Management several times requesting comment, but did not receive a response.

4 comments

  • shawn

    a similar incident happened two us last year also and were still trying tow find a lawyer to take the case already talked two 4 lawyers they dont want to take the case so im sure it took her 2 years between getting out of jail and finding a lawyer. with ours tho we went into the birthing center at 10.pm 5 21-13 in duluth mn because my gf fell on stairs and was leaking fluid and was also in labor and 2 days from delivery but they refused her help and sent us home 12 hours there was no fetal movement went back in and found out our baby died because of a gbs infection she had a previous gbs baby that went fine. she was negitive for the 2nd one but its not a for-sure test she was at rick for gbs because of the previous one. but the baby only got the gbs infection because she was leaking fluid shes got 18 hours to get er help befor the babys dead from a gbs infection after a membrane rupture with they sent her home besause she wasent leaking they told us st lukes are liers because she was leaking fluid thats the only way she could have goten the gbs infection to the baby

    • lori tanner

      keep trying. pregnancy can be so unpredictable and the expectant parents are generally clueless to many complications. There are some docs. out there ,you wonder why they became one.

  • Lynda

    So I see you are a special kind of stupid! Maybe you should understand the legal system before you open your mouth and insert your big foot.

  • jenny

    Regardless of what this woman may have done to be out on prison, her baby was guilty of nothing, and treating her poorly reflects on the prison officials , not her. It speaks volumes of one person’s treatment of another. In essence, the guard(s) played judge, jury, and executioner bc they chose to judge her by her actions and punish her by ignoring her pleas for help. That’s not their job!!

    I dont know whether this woman is indeed guilty of what they claim but, as for the idiot who made the remark about trash, he had better hope hes never imprisoned for something he didn’t commit bc it does happen and can to anyone out there: prisons have become a business, and they lose state funding if their population drops below a certain number. So think about that, you lowlife.

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