Pregnant Inmate Who Lost Baby After Jail Staff Stopped At Starbucks En Route To Hospital Is Offered a Settlement

A former pregnant inmate has been approved to receive a $480,000 settlement after her baby died due to staffers at a California jail failing to appropriately respond after her water broke and even stopped at a Starbucks en route to the hospital.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the proposed settlement this past Tuesday for the delayed transportation of Sandra Quinones to a hospital in 2016, according to minutes of the meeting.

Pregnant Inmate Who Lost Baby After Jail Staff Stopped At Starbucks En Route To Hospital Is Offered a Settlement

pregnant inmate who lost baby secures $480k settlement after jail staff stopped at starbucks en route to hospital
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Quinones filed a complaint against Orange County, California, in April 2020, alleging wrongful death and infliction of emotional distress in the death of her child.  Quinones was in Orange County jail and six months pregnant on March 28, 2016, when her water broke, according to the complaint. 

She pushed the call button in her cell with no response for two hours, the complaint said. Staffers at the jail failed to call an ambulance and transported her to the hospital on a “non-emergency basis,” it said.

She accused the defendants of acting with “deliberate indifference” to her medical needs — including stopping at a Starbucks on the way to the hospital, instead of taking her directly there. 

pregnant inmate who lost baby secures $480k settlement after jail staff stopped at starbucks en route to hospital
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The complaint said that Quinones and her baby were hospitalized and her child died.

The case was dismissed in October 2020 with prejudice upon the grounds that her claims were barred by California’s two-year statute of limitations and she didn’t sufficiently support her claims.

She alleged the incident took place in March 2016, however, she did not launch the lawsuit until about three-and-a-half years later on September 9, 2019 when she was added to a separate civil action case against the county. 

pregnant inmate who lost baby secures $480k settlement after jail staff stopped at starbucks en route to hospital
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The case was reinstated in 2021 in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The complaint said Quinones spent a “significant amount of time since the death of child in custody.”

Under California’s Penal Code 352.1 if a person entitled to start legal civil action for deprivation of rights is imprisoned, that time of “disability” is not part of the time limit for the commencement of legal action, if it doesn’t exceed two years.

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Quinones’ attorney, Richard Herman, told the Los Angeles Times his client was homeless and had mental health issues but still persisted in the case. 

“She doggedly pursued this case, including all of its ups and downs,” Herman said. “This was a long, hard fight. We’re glad that this reached a successful conclusion.”

 He stated how Quinones is now out of custody and living with her mother.

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