DENVER (KDVR/CNN) – A Colorado woman is taking legal action after what she calls a “horrific” childbirth experience – in jail.
Diana Sanchez was inside her Denver County jail cell in July 2018 when she says she suffered through the experience of labor alone.
“Nobody was helping me. There was so many people there and nobody lifted a finger basically,” she said.
Sanchez has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and county of Denver and six individuals.
“The failure to provide care to a woman who is in labor and a baby who is born without any medical assistance in a dirty jail cell, this is not civilized,” said Mari Newman, Sanchez’s attorney.
After Sanchez gave birth to a boy, she says a male nurse came inside her jail cell.
“Picks up the baby as though he’s never seen one in his life… I mean the lack of any sort of compassion is astounding,” said Newman.
Sanchez alleges in her suit that the staff at the jail saw it as “inconvenient to take her to the hospital during the jail’s booking process” and that the staff was “totally unequipped to care” for the baby.
“The pain is indescribable and what hurts me more though is that fact that nobody cared,” Sanchez said.
The Denver Sheriff’s Department conducted an internal investigation and said the deputies acted appropriately, but as a result of the incident, the department has changed its policy and any inmate in labor will be transported to the hospital immediately.
Denver Health is also named as a defendant in the suit, but said it couldn’t comment on a pending legal matter.