Jailed Woman Whose Baby Died at Birth Reaches Settlement

April 28, 2021 Updated: April 28, 2021

SANTA ANA—Orange County supervisors April 28 agreed to a proposed $1.5 million settlement with a woman who gave birth to a baby who died while the mother was in custody in Orange County Jail.

The board voted unanimously in closed session to approve the settlement in the lawsuit filed by Ciera Stoetling, who was jailed on May 12, 2018, when she lost her baby.

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

According to the lawsuit, a jail nurse refused to have her taken to a hospital because of a lack of staff. She 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 a day after Mother’s Day that year, according
to the lawsuit.

Stoetling gave birth to the baby “while sitting on the toilet of her cell,” according to her lawsuit. The baby died at childbirth, the suit states.

The lawsuit is set to be dismissed following Stoetling’s approval of the settlement.