Saturday, August 30, 2008

Because inmate was not an 'employee', DOC wants Lakin suit tossed

CHARLESTON - The state Division of Corrections is asking a suit naming it as a co-defendant in a sexual harassment case arising out of one its facilities in Mason County be dismissed because the acts that led to it were not done in the course of a normal employee-employer setting.

On Aug. 6, WVDOC filed its reply in the civil suit filed against it, and David W. McCormick, a former employee at the Lakin Correctional Center for Women in West Columbia, by Kristin Childs.

Now a resident of Titusville, Fla., Childs alleged that in October while an inmate at Lakin, McCormick coerced her into having sex with him in exchange for agreeing to transfer her to another work detail.

As a result of their encounter, Childs become pregnant. Records show Childs did not initially report the encounter for fear it would harm her chances of parole, which was granted on March 19.

In its reply filed with the assistance of David E. Schumacher, with the Charleston law firm of Bailey and Wyant, WVDOC denies McCormick was acting within the scope of his employment. Therefore, WVDOC denies it breached any affirmative duty or standard of care with respect to keeping Childs' work environment free from intimidation and sexual harassment.

For more on this story, go to The West Virginia Record

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