Third Woman Sues Sheriff Over Birth in Milwaukee Jail

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A woman who gave birth inside the Milwaukee County Jail in 2014 has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit over the conditions and treatment she endured, becoming the third woman to sue over a jail birth in less than a year.

Rebecca Terry, 35, claims she was left in a dirty cell and given no medical treatment despite her obvious pregnancy and screams for help during a three-hour delivery.

After her son was born in the cell, he and Terry were transported to a hospital where, her suit claims, she remained shackled to a bed during a week of care.

She names as defendants the county, Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., Armor Correctional Health Services, three named Armor nurses, a named guard she said ignored her screams for help and several unnamed jail and Armor staff.

Terry of South Milwaukee says she suffered extreme distress and fear during childbirth and continues to suffer “nightmares, flashbacks, extreme distress, fear, humiliation, sadness and anger” from the experience.

She accuses the defendants of a continuous pattern of denying needed medical care to inmates and cites several other instances in past years, including four inmates who died in the jail in 2016.

The estate of one of those inmates, Terrill Thomas, who was denied water for more than week, also sued Monday.

Terry’s suit seeks to hold the county and Armor liable for deliberate indifference, supervisory liability, failure to intervene and violation of due process rights. It seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Loevy & Loevy, a Chicago law firm specializing in civil rights lawsuits.

In March, Melissa Hall sued over the jail policy of shackling inmates during child birth, and is attempting to make it a class action case.


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