Suit: Jail Staff Ignored Pleas of Woman in Labor, to Tragic End

Tiana Hill says her infant died 4 days after birth due to sheriff's, prison medical staff's negligence
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2022 10:00 AM CST
Woman Sues Over Death of Baby Born in Georgia Jail
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/txking)

(Newser) – A Georgia mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Clayton County after she gave birth while in jail there and her baby died. The New York Times reports that the federal complaint by Tiana Hill accuses Sheriff Victor Hill (no relation) and the medical staff at the Clayton County Jail of ignoring her appeals two years ago to be taken to the hospital as she went into labor. When Tiana Hill was booked into the facility in September 2019, on what jail records show were charges for battery and probation violation, "it was noted that she was pregnant," her suit states, per 11Alive.

The complaint adds that "although ... Hill repeatedly requested prenatal care, she received no medical attention for her pregnancy from the jail." Then, on Dec. 29 of that year, Hill says she went into labor and was brought to the facility's infirmary. She told medical staff she needed to go to the hospital, but her pleas were ignored, with staff believing she was having a miscarriage, her complaint says. It notes that 13 hours later, Hill gave birth in her underwear to a baby referred to as "DH," per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Both Hill and her baby were then finally taken to Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, where the newborn died four days later, on Jan. 3, 2020. Hill, who's also suing for medical malpractice, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of her constitutional rights, is seeking $25 million. "I don't feel like I should have been ignored like that," she tells the AJC, adding, "I kind of keep myself together because I have other kids, but it’s hard."

All three outlets note the ongoing legal troubles of Sheriff Hill, who, among other things, has been accused of failing to protect inmates from COVID, as well as indicted on felony charges of deprivation of rights for punishing detainees by using restraining chairs, according to pending federal lawsuits. Hill, who was suspended last summer by Gov. Brian Kemp, has pleaded not guilty to all federal charges. (Read more Georgia stories.)

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