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Woman suffered miscarriage after police made Starbucks stop on way to hospital

Emma Guinness

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman suffered miscarriage after police made Starbucks stop on way to hospital

Featured Image Credit: Alexander Korzh/Alamy Stock Photo Matthew Turner/Alamy Stock Photo

A woman suffered a miscarriage after the police officers who were driving her to the hospital stopped for coffee at Starbucks.

Sandra Quinones, then 28, was in a California jail serving time for drug possession when she went into labour on March 28, 2016, and required a police escort to the hospital.

However, as revealed at a meeting of the Orange county board of supervisors on 23 August, she lost her baby when the officers made a coffee stop at Starbucks.

She is now being paid $480,000 in compensation.

Police officers stopped to get coffee at Starbucks when Sandra Quinones was suffering a miscarriage in 2016. Credit: Alamy/Gado Images
Police officers stopped to get coffee at Starbucks when Sandra Quinones was suffering a miscarriage in 2016. Credit: Alamy/Gado Images

Her attorney, Dick Herman, told the Register newspaper the payment for his client, who is no longer in police custody, 'was a very good result for someone badly treated in the jail'.

"This poor woman, she's in jail having a miscarriage and, instead of calling an ambulance, they take her to the hospital in a patrol car and the cops stop at Starbucks while she's bleeding."

The lawsuit revealed that Quinones' waters broke when she was in a jail cell, prompting her to press a button to alert staff.

However, it was two hours before they responded to her.

Quinones' attorney described her as homeless and mentally ill at the time.

After staff became aware of her labour, instead of calling an ambulance, they put her into a jail deputy's patrol car with an intention to take her to Anaheim Global Medical Center.

The woman's baby sadly didn't survive. Credit: Pexels/freestocks.org
The woman's baby sadly didn't survive. Credit: Pexels/freestocks.org

But instead of taking the labouring mother straight to hospital, they stopped for coffee and prevented her from getting the medical attention she needed.

While she was eventually treated when she arrived at hospital, the foetus did not survive.

"The Orange County jail is capable of sinking to the lowest depths," Herman told the Los Angeles Times. "Unfortunately this is not the only occasion."

His client went on to file a lawsuit against officers at the jail in April 2020 for showing 'deliberate indifference' to her plight.

Officials attempted to dismiss the lawsuit on the condition that it was filed after statute of limitations.

Sandra Quinones is now being paid $480,000 in compensation for what happened to her. Credit: Alamy / PhotoEdit
Sandra Quinones is now being paid $480,000 in compensation for what happened to her. Credit: Alamy / PhotoEdit

A judge initially ruled in favour of the argument that it was too late for the bereaved mother to seek compensation last October, but this was overturned by an appellate court.

The sheriff's office in control of the jail involved has not publicly commented on the result of the case.

"Quinones doggedly pursued this case, including all of its ups and downs," Herman said. "This was a long, hard fight. We're glad that this reached a successful conclusion."

Topics: News, True Crime

Emma Guinness
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