Woman Sues After Baby Dies Following Delivery in Solitary

Nicole Guerrero was placed in a solitary cell instead of being transported to a hospital.

This article originally appeared on ColorLines.com

A Texas woman says she was given no choice but to give birth in a solitary cell—after which her baby died.

Nicole Guerrero says that she was under arrest for drug possession at a Wichita County jail when she was placed in solitary confinement on the night of June 11, 2012. In a lawsuit charging malpractice and that she was denied due process, Guerrero says she was told by the jailhouse doctor she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. Yet on the night of June 11, when she began pressing the emergency button because of labor-like symptoms, she was initially ignored for more than four hours. Guerrero was then placed in a solitary cell instead of being transported to a hospital. The following morning, at about 5:00 a.m. on June 12, a guard helped Guerrero deliver her baby. But the baby, who was placed in a jail rag towel, was pronounced dead. The lawsuit indicates there was no attempt to resuscitate the newborn.

Guerrero’s lawsuit claims that because she was ignored despite her cramping and obvious suffering, she was forced to deliver her child in a solitary confinement—which resulted in serious “permanent, physical and psychological injuries.”

Aura Bogado is Colorlines' news editor and reporter, covering a range of issues including Native American communities, immigration and community organizing. 

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