A Texas woman may have been forced to undergo the most painful thing in the world, alone, in the cold and tucked away in a little box.
2 years ago Nicole Guerrero was in solitary confinement and she claims she was forced to give birth alone in jail during a horrific night in that cell. If the trauma of the pain was not enough, her baby died, and there lies the source of this lawsuit. Guerrero claims that because of the solitary confinement her baby will never get to grow up.
Nicole Guerrero alleges in legal documents that “Wichita County denied her access to reasonable medical care … ignored her obvious signs of labour and constant requests for medical assistance, failed to conduct a physical examination … when she began to display obvious signs of labour, left her unattended in a solitary cell while she was obviously in labour, 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.” This appears to be a massively incriminating list of charges if any of them can be proved in court.
Wichita County, thus far at least, isn’t talking, “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 last Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas, names a whole host of defendants including: Wichita County, the Sheriff’s Office, registered nurse LaDonna Anderson, and Correctional Healthcare Management, Inc., Anderson’s employer.
Prior to the trial, and now in court documents, Guerrero has given an account of what happened the night of her child’s death, according to court documents:
She was arrested on drug possession charges on June 2, 2012. After visiting with 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 labour. This failure by Anderson to identify the coming labour could be the straw that breaks the camels back in this lawsuit.
The complaint then begins to take a turn towards being libel on a grander scale, the documents detail 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.
Guerrero claims she was ignored by Anderson and the guards on duty.
Finally, Guerrero said, around 5 a.m. on June 12th, 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. In a move that appears at best heartless, Guerrero claims she was still kept in solitary confinement, without medical help, after the baby was taken away to that local hospital.
Guerrero’s lawsuit accuses Anderson and Correctional Healthcare Management of medical malpractice. Her attorney, Rick Bunch, has 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.
If any of this can be proved in court then a big chunk of Texas is going to owe Nicole Guerrero money. I cannot comprehend of a situation where taking this woman to hospital to be checked out does not result in a baby being brought into the world successfully. Whether this negligence or not is for the courts to decide but a child could have been born successfully and would now have been a toddler had some more care been taken. Hopefully this matter can be resolved quickly but money cannot and will not make the loss of a child go away. I hope Nicole Guerrero can find some peace when this goes to trial for nobody should have to experience a loss like that.