FCRJ

Editor's note: This was updated at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 with additional information about the case and a response from Franklin County Jailer Jake Banta.

An Indiana woman who gave birth alone in Franklin County Regional Jail will receive $200,000 settlement after arguing that correction staffers were deliberately indifferent to her medical needs, according to a news report.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove approved the settlement amount earlier this week.

Kelsey Love, 32, had filed a lawsuit in 2018 alleging that FCRJ ignored her while she screamed in pain during her labor in May 2017.

Love was eight months pregnant when officers arrested her in Kentucky for suspected impaired driving.

Under the settlement, the jail and the jail employees named in the legal challenge did not admit fault. The county maintains that there was no evidence to suggest Love was in labor.

“The defendants always have and will continue to strive to provide the best medical care to all persons at the Franklin County Regional Jail,” Paul C. Harnice, an attorney for the county and jail employees, told the newspaper.

Rick Rogers was the elected jailer at the time. The suit named Rogers and Franklin County deputy jailers Michael Phillips, Anthony Pullen, Timothy Harrod, Brandi Upton, John Ringer and Jeff Abrams as defendants. The court later approved the jail's request to add its health services provider, Southern Health Partners, as a third-party complainant.

Current Franklin County Jailer Jake Banta declined to comment on the case Monday.

Van Tatenhove dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning the dismissal is final and permanent.

According to court records, Love began screaming for help two days after being placed in the jail. A female deputy jailer checked in on Love, who was naked and on the floor holding her stomach, and then contacted the jail's on-call nurse. Court records say the nurse said she would observe Love and eventually check on her later.

When the nurse arrived at Love's cell roughly three hours later, they found a large amount of blood on the floor.

Love's attorney, Aaron J. Bentley, said she gave birth, ripped open her mattress and crawled inside it with the baby. Bentley says Love chewed off the umbilical cord.

“You can imagine it was pretty traumatic,” Bentley said.

Bentley added that Love still has nightmares surrounding her labor, but has been sober for two years after completing drug treatment. She's currently working to gain custody of her children.

The dismissal order noted that all previous claims between the jail and Southern had been dismissed, and future motions were denied as moot. 

Each party was to be responsible for its own fees and expenses.

The court had previously ruled in favor of Southern in the jail's claims that it had to indemnify the jail because Southern Health Partners is the medical care provider for the facility. Southern Health Partners argued it was not required to indemnify the jail "due to the jail's own intentional and negligent acts."

The jail challenged the ruling, but was denied when the judge found there was no error of law found. 

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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