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Medical malpractice suit filed in jail birth and subsequent death

When you think of medical malpractice suits in Montana, you generally think of hospitals and doctor's offices and not jail, right? But medical negligence can happen almost anywhere. Being denied medical attention in any setting can amount to medical malpractice, as a recent case in Texas demonstrates.

Two years ago, an incarcerated Texas woman visited the doctor and discovered she was eight and a half months pregnant. That same night, while in solitary confinement, she complained of cramping and severe pain. A nurse on duty checked her out and reportedly told her she was not in labor, but later that night and into the next morning, she was experiencing the pain of childbirth. She called for help but claims she was completely ignored until 5 a.m. when an officer who was walking by stopped to help deliver the baby.

The child was born with the umbilical cord around its neck and was not breathing, but the woman claims no one attempted CPR and the baby died. After the baby was taken from her, the incarcerated woman said she was left in solitary confinement and not given any medical attention.

The woman has filed a medical malpractice suit against the nurse on duty that night and also the correctional facility's health care system.

Tragic cases like these demonstrate the importance of the civil system in procuring justice for the average person against giant institutions like hospitals and jails. Nothing can bring this woman's baby back, but, with this suit, she can seek compensation for the pain and suffering inflicted on her and punitive damages against the ones whose alleged negligence and indifference allowed her child to die.

If you feel like you've been the victim of medical malpractice in Montana, an attorney can hear your story and may be able to help you file a suit.

Source:, "Texas woman claims solitary birth in jail," Shelby Lin Erdman, Carma Hassan, May 23, 2014

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