Pregnant Inmate Dies, Family Sues County Jail
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Jail is facing another lawsuit.
The attorney for 27-year-old Amy Lynn Gillespie says she went into the jail pregnant, but in good health. Within a month, she died from bacterial pneumonia.
“We firmly believe this death would have been preventable with modern medicine and antibiotics and should have never occurred,” Attorney Robert Peirce said.
He says Gillespie was originally arrested for shoplifting, but she was sent back to jail in December of 2009 for getting pregnant which violated the terms of her work release agreement.
While in jail, she started complaining of feeling ill. Peirce claims the guards ignored her.
“According to the witnesses that we’ve spoken to the prison personnel told her to just stick it out, she’ll be okay,” Peirce said. “Obviously that was not the case.”
Eventually Gillespie was taken to the jail infirmary, but Peirce says she still did not receive proper care.
“They didn’t give her the basic cultures, they didn’t take an x-ray,” he said. “Had they done these simple things she could have been prescribed antibiotics that would have take care of pneumonia.”
By early January, Gillespie and her 18-week-old fetus died at UPMC Mercy Hospital.
“What’s important to note is that all of us are entitled to basic medical care, including prisoners,” Peirce said. “That’s one of the obligations of society that we agreed to do.”
Gillespie leaves behind several small children along with her family. So far, the jail is not commenting on the lawsuit.