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31st Aug 2022

Woman lost baby after police stopped for coffee en route to hospital

Sarah McKenna Barry

Deputies took two hours to initially respond to the woman after her waters broke in jail.

A woman who lost her baby after her police escort stopped at Starbucks while he was driving her to the hospital has been awarded compensation of $480,000 after her lawsuit was settled this month.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, Sandra Quinones was in the Orange County Jail for a probation violation when her waters broke in 2016. Officers took two hours before responding to her calls for help, and then it was decided that she would be driven to the hospital.

However, on the way, they made a stop at a Starbucks for coffee. She subsequently lost the baby.

After the miscarriage, she was brought back to jail for a “significant time”.

Ms Quinones previously took legal action against the Orange County police force, but her lawsuit was dismissed in 2020. It was then reinstated earlier this year.

This month, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pay Quinones $480,000 in compensation for delayed medical treatment. They found that the law enforcement officers acted with “deliberate indifference” when they didn’t call for an ambulance or bring her straight to hospital.

Ms Quinones’ attorney, Richard Herman, said that his client understands that she was “wronged”.

He said: “She doggedly pursued this case, including all of its ups and downs.

“This was a long, hard fight. We’re glad that this reached a successful conclusion.”

Ms Quinones is no longer in jail custody, and is living with her mother.

At the time of her probation violation, she was homeless and was suffering from mental health issues. Mr Hernan said that his client’s condition was “no excuse” for her to receive the treatment she did.

The attorney representing Orange County could not be reached by the LA Times for a comment.