A woman who went into labor at a jail in Clayton County, Ga., two years ago said the facility’s medical staff and sheriff ignored her pleas to be taken immediately to a hospital and are responsible for the death of her baby, according to a federal lawsuit.
The lawsuit contends that the jail administrators “denied and refused to provide” the woman, Tiana Hill, and her baby, “D.H.,” prenatal and medical care, causing Ms. Hill physical pain and stress, and the wrongful death of the child on Jan. 3, 2020, four days after birth.
The lawsuit, which was filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in December, was reported this month by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and 11 Alive in Atlanta.
Mitchell Albert III, a lawyer for Ms. Hill, did not immediately respond to a request for an interview on Tuesday.
Jack Hancock, a lawyer for Sheriff Victor Hill of Clayton County, a defendant in the lawsuit, said in a statement that he would not “comment on pending litigation.” A phone message left on Tuesday at a number listed in court records as belonging to Sheriff Hill was not immediately returned.
The other defendants — CorrectHealth Clayton LLC; Charles Clopton, the jail’s doctor; Clayton County and its board of commissioners — did not respond to emails or phone calls on Tuesday seeking comment.
Ms. Hill, a mother of three girls, was arrested on Sept. 12, 2019, on charges of battery and violation of probation and detained at the Clayton County Jail, where she told the authorities that she was pregnant, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Hill’s health began to deteriorate in jail, the lawsuit contends. She requested medical attention from the jail’s staff, it states, but was not provided any.
On Dec. 29, 2019, Ms. Hill, sitting in her cell, told jail staff members that she was in labor, according to her lawsuit.
She was taken to the jail infirmary at 11:12 p.m., the suit states, and felt severe pain as she heard staff members tell her that she was having a miscarriage.
“Ms. Hill was forced to lay in a blood-saturated pad, in childbirth labor, crying, asking to be sent to the hospital,” the lawsuit states. “She was not sent to the hospital.”
About 12 hours after Ms. Hill first told jail employees that she was in labor, she gave birth, the lawsuit states, on Dec. 30, at 12:32 p.m. She and her child were then transported to Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, where the 4-day-old baby died on Jan. 3, 2020, Ms. Hill’s birthday, according to the lawsuit.
Sheriff Hill has recently faced other legal problems.
Last summer, Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia suspended the sheriff after Sheriff Hill was indicted on felony charges of deprivation of rights after using restraining chairs as punishment for detainees, according to a federal lawsuit. Sheriff Hill’s lawyers have denied the charges and said that none of the inmates had been physically injured. The lawsuit is pending.
Sheriff Hill is a defendant in a pending lawsuit filed in 2020 that claims that his office failed to protect detainees from Covid-19.
Ms. Hill is seeking $25 million from her lawsuit.
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