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Lori Griffin

Lori Griffin

Plaintiff Lori Griffin was referred by her primary obstetrician to MUSC for prenatal care in the summer of 1989, before the policy had been instituted. In her eighth month of pregnancy she once again went to MUSC for care, unaware that the policy had been implemented and that her urine would be searched for cocaine for law enforcement purposes.

On October 10, 1989, MUSC Nurse Shirley Brown informed Ms. Griffin that she was being released to go home. Instead, police entered Ms. Griffin's hospital room, informed her that she was under arrest for distribution of cocaine to a minor, and removed her in handcuffs and shackles to a waiting police car. Not knowing that she would be arrested, Ms. Griffin had made no long-term care arrangements for her two young children at home. Nurse Brown never presented Ms. Griffin with the option of avoiding arrest by entering a treatment program. Nor had Ms. Griffin been aware that the results of her medical tests could be turned over to the police and used as the basis for her arrest.

"When I was admitted to the hospital they told me . . . because I was having pre-labor pains that they would have to keep me overnight. . . . Shirley Brown came in that morning and . . . told me that I was going home . . . And after I got dressed three policeman came in, put handcuffs and shackles on me and told me I was under arrest for distribution of cocaine to a minor . . . I will never trust a doctor again . . . they tormented me."

After her arrest at the hospital and until she gave birth on October 26, 1989, Ms. Griffin spent three weeks in jail in an unsanitary cell with only a metal table and cushion to serve as a bed. During that time, she was transported back and forth from the hospital for further care, which she received in handcuffs and shackles. Medical staff did not provide Ms. Griffin with substance abuse counseling or treatment during these visits, nor did they refer her to any other source of help.