Inmate who gave birth alone in Kentucky jail cell wins $200K lawsuit settlement

Published 2:31 pm Saturday, February 20, 2021

An Indiana woman who gave birth alone in a Kentucky 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 Franklin County Regional Jail 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 Franklin County 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.

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, who 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, says 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.