Lawsuit Settled Over Baby’s Death After Authorities Stopped at Starbucks Before Hospital

Orange County jail sank to “lowest depths,” says lawyer. Sandra Quinones was jailed for a probation violation when she started going into early labor in March 2016. Instead of immediately helping her, Orange County authorities ignored her for two hours and then stopped at Starbucks on their way to the hospital, according to a federal lawsuit she filed after losing the baby.

Now, six years later, the Orange County Board of Supervisors has voted to settle the lawsuit. Quinones will receive a payment of $480,000 from the county.

Quinones’ complaint in the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit stated that she was six months pregnant and in custody at the Orange County Women’s jail when her water broke. “She pushed the call button in her cell with no response for two hours,” the suit says, noting that jail staff knew about Quinones’ pregnancy.

Jail staff “Failed to call an ambulance and decided to transport Sandra Quinones to the hospital on a non-emergency basis,” her suit alleges. They”did not provide any medical treatment and, instead, stopped for Starbucks on the way to the hospital,” making Quinones “wait in the back of a van bleeding and in labor.”

At the hospital, the baby was born and then died shortly after, her suit says. It accuses Orange County authorities of denial of medical care, negligent treatment,”and other violations of Appellant Sandra Quinones’ and Baby Quinones’ rights.”

Quinones sued the county and various jail staff. In 2020, a US District Court dismissed Quinones’ complaint, stating that the statutes of limitations were up. But Quinones’ lawyer appealed, noting that she had been homeless, suffering from PTSD, and unable to get assistance for years after the incident. In December 2021, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reinstated her case.

“The Orange County jail is capable of sinking to the lowest depths,” her lawyer, Richard Herman, told the Los Angeles Times. “Unfortunately this is not the only occasion.”

Orange County has a pattern of “failing to provide medical treatment and/or ignoring basic care such that inmate and/or the baby died during or closely after labor,” states an amended complaint in Quinones lawsuit, citing six other infant or fetus deaths between 2012 and 2019.


FREE MINDS

“Kid’s Code” bill in California could mean creepy new privacy invasions online. A California proposal to “protect kids” could see websites scanning people’s faces and making them submit video “liveness tests” before they can look at content or make purchases. Mike Masnick dissects the disturbing details at Techdirt:

If you thought cookie pop-ups were an annoying nuisance, just wait until you have to scan your face for some third party to “verify your age” after California’s new design code becomes law.

On Friday, I wrote about the companies and organizations most likely to benefit from California’s AB 2273, the “Age Appropriate Design Code” bill that the California legislature seems eager to pass (and which they refer to as the “Kid’s Code” even though the details show it will impact everyone, and not just kids). The bill seemed to be getting very little attention, but after a few of my posts started to go viral, the backers of the bill ramped up their smear campaigns and lies — including telling me that I’m not covered by it (and when I dug in and pointed out how I am… they stopped responding). But, even if somehow Techdirt is not covered (which, frankly, would be a relief), I can still be quite concerned about how it will impact everyone else.

But, the craziest of all things is that the “Age Verification Providers Association” decided to show up in the comments to defend themselves and insist that their members can do age verification in a privacy-protective manner. You just have to let them scan your face with facial recognition technology.

In what seems like a very failed attempt to be reassuring, the Age Verification Providers Association explained that it may not need people’s “personal data” to verify their ages, just a scan of their IDs or faces.


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Brown University economist Emily Oster talks to Michael Horn, author of From Reopen to Reinvent: (Re)Creating School for Every Child, about American schooling. For the book, Horn set out to look at what went wrong with schools during the pandemic. “But part of the conclusion was schooling wasn’t just broken during COVID—it hasn’t been working [for] the majority of families for a long time,” he told Oster.

Emily: So let’s talk about that piece of it. Because while I sort of like this conceptually, and I see why for people with a lot of choice and a lot of options, it might be possible to think about crafting micro schools and learning pods. But when we think about this on a more nuts-and-bolts policy level, do you think this is even remotely feasible? Let me put it out there.

Michael: I love the question. It’s unclear at the moment, to be totally honest. And I think it’s one of the reasons we see so many families opting out of traditional district schools right now into micro schools and pods and charter schools and private schools, because they’re saying: I want that customization. And part of my argument, I think, is that if districts really want to hold on and be that common place where people come for their education, they’re going to have to figure out how to customize. And I think that there are lessons that they can learn about how to leverage micro schools and the advantages that they bring within a larger schoolhouse, for example. How to use online tutoring and online teachers to give access to certain options that certain children may want to have, but it doesn’t make sense to have a full-time teacher, say, in the school building, offering that particular class. Or plugging into community resources to offer the mental health supports that certain children we know really need right now. But it’s really hard — and others have written persuasively about: not sure if you want a teacher who hasn’t been trained for that set of services delivering mental health supports to your child. But you might really welcome someone from the community who has been trained in those things to plug into school and be able to offer those services.

It’s not saying that it’s the school’s core competency or that they need to do every element of this, but more that they become a hub for these different services so that children can customize what they need for them and when they need them. And there are some school districts around the country that have been doing some of this. So I think there’s some bright lights out there.

Read the whole interview here.


QUICK HITS

• Taylor Millard explores “the rising surveillance state in American cities.”

• Can jellyfish teach us the secrets of immortality?

• A bill that passed the California legislature on Monday would “create a government panel that would set wages for an estimated half-million fast food workers in the state,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “They would set hourly wages of up to $22 for fast food workers starting next year and can increase them annually by the same rate as the consumer-price index, up to a maximum of 3.5%.” Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has until the end of September to decide whether he will sign the bill.

• “From January through June of this year, federal prosecutors made 883 applications to federal judges to authorize search warrants and issue subpoenas or a summons,” according to data analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

• Tiffani Morgan Walton is suing after being stopped from recording a West Virginia Senate debate on a bill to ban abortions and kicked out of the debate. Citizens “have every right to record public officials during public proceedings,” said Nicholas Ward of the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, which is representing Walton.

• “President Joe Biden’s pick for an intelligence advisory post falsely claimed that Hunter Biden’s laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign and that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Kremlin,” reports The Washington Free Beacon.

• Police with the Lakewood Township, New Jersey “Quality of Life Unit” cut down trees in a local town square to stop homeless people from congregating there.

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