Woman Whose Baby Died While in Jail at Birth Wins $1.5 M Settlement

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County supervisors have agreed to pay $1.5 million to a woman who gave birth to a baby who died while the mother was in custody in Orange County Jail, the woman's attorney told City News Service.

The supervisors agreed on Tuesday to the settlement for Ciera Stoetling, who was jailed on May 12, 2018, when she lost her baby.

“We're very happy about the settlement, particularly for my client because she went through a very difficult situation and I don't want to see that happen to another woman in custody,'' her attorney, Dale Galipo, said.

“I think if a woman is pregnant and needs to go to a hospital they need to make sure and get her to a hospital and not take any chances with someone's life or a baby's life.''

Stoetling, who is not out of custody, is expecting again, Galipo said.

“She is about to have another child and we hope this goes well as a replacement for the child she lost,'' Galipo said. “And I hope this will help ensure this doesn't happen to anyone else.''

Stoetling alleged in her federal lawsuit that she had told jail officials she was pregnant and that she was feeling contractions on May 11, 2018. When she pressed an emergency button for help she said she received no response.

Eventually, she said in the lawsuit, that a jail nurse refused to have her taken to a hospital because of a lack of staff and was instead taken to a jail infirmary and told to drink eight cups of water a day on a Saturday and that she could see a doctor by Monday, which was Mother's Day that year.

Stoetling gave birth to the baby “while sitting on the toilet of her cell,'' according to her lawsuit. The baby died at childbirth, she said.

Photo: Getty Images

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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