Rosebud woman who gives birth on IHS bathroom floor receives settlement

ROSEBUD INDIAN RESERVATION, S.D. — A woman who gave birth on the bathroom floor of a Rosebud Indian Health Service Hospital in 2015 has received a $150,000 settlement from the U.S. government.

In a civil suit filed in U.S. District Court, Samantha One Star, of Parmalee, says she was 34 weeks pregnant back in July 2015, when she was taken by ambulance to the Rosebud Indian Health Service. When she arrived, medical staff at IHS advised her that she was not having contractions, but that she had a urinary tract infection. She was prescribed antibiotics and sent home.

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A sign, located along BIA Highway 7, welcomes visitors to the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

Later that evening, July 22, 2015, One Star called the hospital’s emergency room, telling them her contractions were stronger and longer. Her claims were dismissed by the nurse on duty, who advised her that the antibiotics would take up to 24 hours to work.

One Star says she called back less than an hour later, saying her contractions were two- to three-minutes apart and were lasting 30- to 40-seconds. She called for an ambulance and was taken back to the Rosebud Indian Health Service Hospital.

Once she was admitted, a doctor on duty – identified in the complaint documents as “Dr. Johnson” – told her she was not in labor.

The suit reveals that as One Star was relieving herself on the toilet, her water broke, and “the baby landed on his face on the cold tile floor of the bathroom.” The suit claims the incident caused physical and emotional trauma and injury to the baby, and causing extreme mental suffering, anxiety, anguish, worry, fright, embarrassment, humiliation, and bystander claim damages.

One Star’s son was six weeks premature – weighing only four pounds, four ounces. Since the Rosebud IHS Hospital was not equipped to care for the newborn, he was flown to Avera McKenna Hospital in Sioux Falls, where he remained in neo-natal intensive care until mid-August 2015.

According to court documents, Dr. John Coniaris stated, “We are on OB Diversion and have no OB nurses,” and Rosebud IHS did not have the staffing to provide adequate care for OBGYN patients.

The suit claims this was not made clear to One Star, who then “was therefore incapable of providing reasonable and viable informed consent to being treated so poorly by the unequipped and substandard medical employees and hospital staff and their medical capabilities.”

The settlement required One Star to drop any claims against the government. The government did not admit liability.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News