$480K to inmate who miscarried after stop for coffee

August 25, 2022 GMT

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Southern California’s Orange County has agreed to pay $480,000 to an inmate who was pregnant but suffered a miscarriage after sheriff’s deputies stopped at a Starbucks while driving her to a hospital.

Sandra Quinones, who is no longer in custody, alleged in a federal lawsuit that sheriff’s staff delayed treatment after her water broke in the jail.

County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the payment, but Quinones must formally accept the settlement before it becomes final, the Orange County Register reported.

“That’s a very good result for someone badly treated in the jail,” her lawyer, Dick Herman, told the Register. “This poor woman, she’s in jail having a miscarriage and, instead of calling an ambulance, they take her to the hospital in a patrol car and the cops stop at Starbucks while she’s bleeding.”

Herman said Quinones is homeless and mentally ill.

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The lawsuit said no jail staff responded for two hours after Quinones pushed a call button in her cell when her water broke on March 28, 2016.

Then instead of being put in an ambulance, Quinones was given a ride to a hospital in a patrol car, but not until deputies stopped for coffee, the lawsuit alleged.

Quinones was hospitalized, but the fetus did not survive, according to court filings.

Sheriff’s officials declined to comment on the settlement.

The lawsuit accused deputies of acting with “deliberate indifference” toward Quinones’ civil rights and her medical condition, the Register said.