Woman Set To Receive $480,000 After Being Forced To Give Birth In Jail Cell
Published in Dec 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
A woman who sued the city of Denver and Denver Health after she was forced to give birth alone inside a jail cell gets $480,000 as settlements.
When Diana Sanchez was pregnant with her son Jordan, she was forced to deliver in a jail cell without medical assistance even after enduring five-hour labor.
At the time, the mom was an inmate at the Denver County Jail. Her water had broken, and she begged the medical staff and deputies for medical help.
However, she went through the entire harrowing birth without any assistance. In fact, the deputies never called for an ambulance until after the baby was born.
From inside Diana’s jail cell at the time, she showed her struggling and screaming in the stages of labor. When the video emerged, it left viewers horrified.
In the weeks following the birth, Diana spoke with the Fox31 Problem Solvers.
“It was so inhumane how the medical team, the staff acted towards me. It’s like they didn’t care.”
“I felt helpless. Nobody was helping me. There were so many people, and nobody lifted a finger, basically.”
Diana also sued local authorities for the ordeal.
As per lawsuit documents, Diana told deputies and nurses at least eight times that she was experiencing contractions.
Instead of taking her to hospital, they only responded by ‘sliding an absorbent pad under the door.’
The filing also said that when they eventually took her to hospital, doctors said ‘she was lucky she didn’t bleed to death.’
After a lawsuit hearing, the court ruled in Diana’s favor.
Diana and her son, now 2 years old, will receive $320,000 from Denver Health. They will also receive an additional $160,000 from the city of Denver as damages.
Mari Newman, a civil rights attorney who represented Diana and her son, said:
“It’s simply not acceptable in a civilized society for a woman… to give birth without any medical attention at all in jail.”
Under the terms of the agreement with Denver Health, Jordan will get periodic payments as he ages, starting at age 7 and continuing until he turns 21.
“One of the things that was most important to Diana was to make sure that her son’s life was going to be better. So she has gone through every effort to make sure he is going to [get the care he needs].”
Also, as part of the settlement, Denver Health has promised to provide better health care to pregnant inmates.
The attorney added:
“Diana is very, very happy that one of the components of the settlement is annual training for every Denver Health nurse who works in the context of a jail to make sure no one else ever has to suffer the same indignities that she did.”
The Denver Sheriff Department also confirmed it has changed its policies to ensure they ‘immediately take pregnant inmates in labor to hospitals in the future.’