A former Sabattus woman who rode from Florida to Maine shackled in a dog cage and soaked in her own bodily fluids after a 2016 arrest has settled her lawsuit against Androscoggin County and the private firm that transported her.
Meghan Quinn, 36, filed the lawsuit in April 2018 in U.S. District Court in Portland. The notice of her settlement with the county and U.S. Prisoner Transport Inc., the transportation firm, was posted Wednesday on the court system’s website.
She was arrested in Florida in November 2016 on an outstanding warrant out of Androscoggin County for allegedly violating her probation on a forgery conviction, according to the 16-page complaint she filed in federal court.
Quinn claimed she was returned to Maine by U.S. Prisoner Transport, Inc., over the course of a “zigzagging” five-day road trip during which she was shackled in a dog cage affixed to the floor of a 15-passenger van. She was released from the cage just a few times to stretch and use the bathroom during the trip, the lawsuit claimed.
“For the remainder of the journey, she knelt in the dog cage covered in her own blood, urine and fecal matter, as the van’s drivers refused to provide for her most basic human needs,” the complaint said.
Her nose was broken when the van stopped abruptly at one point, allegedly throwing her face-first into the cage’s metal bars. Quinn’s lawsuit alleged that during the drive, she was forced to urinate in a Ziploc bag and defecate in a McDonald’s cheeseburger wrapper in full view of male prisoners seated in the van. She alleged that the smell grew so bad, she “vomited almost constantly” and the unclean conditions caused infections in her ankles, where the “overtightened” shackles chafed and cut her skin.
Details of the settlement are confidential, according to Quinn’s attorney, Thomas Hallett of Portland.
“My client is very pleased to put this horrifying chapter of her life behind her,” he said Wednesday.
Quinn no longer lives in Maine, according to Hallett. He did not say where she lives now.
Attorneys for Androscoggin County and the transportation firm did not immediately return a request for comment on the settlement.
Quinn claimed in her lawsuit a civil rights violation, battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Androscoggin County stopped using U.S. Prisoner Transport after Quinn filed her notice of claim against the county and the company.