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A California inmate says her baby died after jail staff stopped at Starbucks on the way to the hospital while she was in labor, report says


  • Sandra Quinones was awarded a $480,000 settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit on Tuesday.
  • Quinones was an inmate at Orange County Jail when her water broke unexpectedly in March 2016.
  • She called for help for hours, but jail staff took their time getting her to the hospital, she said, per CNN.

A California woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit after her baby died immediately following birth, saying the staff members of the jail she was in took their time getting her to the hospital when her water broke. 

The woman — Sandra Quinones — had been an inmate at the Orange County Jail in March 2016. At the time, she was six months pregnant, CNN reported

Her water broke that March unexpectedly, and she said in a lawsuit that she called for help inside her cell for hours before anyone came, per CNN. She kept pushing a call button in her cell to ask for medical attention, but jail staff did not show up until two hours had elapsed. 

Then, on the way to the hospital, jail staff stopped by Starbucks, the complaint, filed in 2020, says, per CNN. 

Quinones meanwhile had to wait in the back of a van while bleeding and in labor, CNN reported. 

Jail staff “decided to transport Quinones to the hospital on a non-emergency basis” rather than call an ambulance, the complaint says, according to CNN.

When Quinones finally arrived at the hospital and gave birth, the baby died shortly after. 

And Quinones developed “severe and extreme post-traumatic stress disorder and depression,” CNN reported.

The lawsuit says jail staff behaved inappropriately and their actions directly contributed to the death of Quinones’ baby.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a settlement for Quinones in the amount of $480,000, according to CNN.  

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