PORTLAND — A Sabattus woman filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, claiming she was forced in November 2016 to kneel in a cage — covered in her own urine, blood and vomit — during her five-day extradition from Florida to Maine.

Meghan Quinn, 35,  filed a 16-page complaint at U.S. District Court against U.S. Prisoner Transport of Florida; its parent company, Prisoner Transport Systems of America of Tennessee; the two drivers of the van; and Androscoggin County and its district attorney.

U.S. Prisoner Transport of Florida is a private company, based in Melbourne, Florida, that delivers prisoners throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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The story of Quinn’s extradition from Kissimmee, Florida, to Auburn, Maine, was the subject of a special Sun Journal investigative report published in March 2017.

In that story, Quinn, who was being extradited to Maine on a probation violation for a forgery charge, and a male prisoner in the same transport van claimed she was kept in a cage in an unheated area in the back of a van, and was made to sit in her menstrual blood, defecate in a burger wrapper and urinate in a Ziploc bag in front of male prisoners. Quinn also says she suffered a broken nose while confined in the cage.


Since the Sun Journal’s publication of Quinn’s description of the abuse, county prosecutors in Maine who used the private transport company that extradited her have stopped contracting with that company.

Most offices had used the company for years.

Androscoggin County District Attorney Andrew Robinson, who authorized that Quinn be transported, immediately suspended the county’s contracts with the company, saying his office had never received a complaint about the business in more than a decade of service.

During the five-day trip the week of Thanksgiving, Quinn was allowed out of her cage three times to use a bathroom and stretch her legs, according to the complaint that alleges seven counts, including negligent supervision and hiring, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil rights violation and negligence.

Meanwhile, two others transported by U.S. Prisoner Transport have filed notice to sue the company because of similar experiences during extradition, including a man who rode in the same van as Quinn, according to Verne Paradie, a Lewiston lawyer representing them. A third man is expected to file notice soon, Paradie said Thursday.

Quinn’s lawsuit, filed by lawyer Benjamin Donahue of Portland, claims she suffered permanent physical injuries from “severely” tightened ankle shackles that cut into her skin to the bone and became infected by the bodily fluids that ran down her legs, leaving prominent scars.


Quinn also said she suffered a broken nose when the van’s driver slammed on the brakes while traveling at highway speeds in response to her complaints about her clothing becoming bloodied during her menstrual cycle.

“Humiliated, vomiting and crying hysterically, Meghan begged the drivers to help her,” the lawsuit reads.

Instead of helping, the driver became annoyed and slammed on the van’s brakes.

Her broken nose healed improperly because of a lack of adequate medical care at Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn, according to the complaint.

“Now, over a year later, her treatment requires re-breaking her facial bones to ensure full recovery,” according to the lawsuit, which also includes that Quinn has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

The complaint chronicles the inhumane treatment Quinn endured as she was locked in a “dog cage” in the back of a modified, 15-passenger van, a “heavy chain around her waist, handcuffs on wrists and overtightened shackles on her legs,” while the drivers “refused to provide for her most basic human needs” during her five-day trip.


According to the lawsuit: The van zigzagged up the East Coast, dropping off and picking up mostly male prisoners, seldom stopping in an effort to boost revenues. Quinn was forced to urinate, defecate and menstruate in full view of the male prisoners during her trip. The stench of her bodily fluids caused her to vomit, and she was then forced to kneel in that vomit. Quinn was also threatened with a Taser and mace when she showed reluctance to return to the van in those conditions.

Near the end of the trip, one of the drivers agreed to provide her with leggings because “the guards became concerned that Meghan’s appearance would cause problems when they arrived.”

When a police officer at a secure facility, where she was told to change, “tried to remove Meghan’s blood, vomit and urine-caked pants, however, she had to cut them off because they had adhered to her skin.”

By the time Quinn had arrived at the Androscoggin County Jail, she “needed serious medical attention,” according to the complaint.

The cage in which Quinn was confined lacked heat. She had been dressed in only pants and a tank top when she left Florida. The drivers rejected her repeated pleas for a blanket or “anything to stay warm.”

Quinn was able to see her breath and the cold metal of the cage “froze her skin on contact,” according to the complaint. She “became hypothermic and began violently shaking.”


Meghan Quinn, now 35, of Sabattus, shown at the Androscoggin County Jail in February 2017, wipes away tears as she talks about her extradition from Florida to Maine. She filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, claiming she was caged for five days in the back of a van belonging to a private Florida company that extradites prisoners. (Sun Journal file photo)

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