CLEARFIELD – Documents have been filed in a lawsuit against Clearfield County regarding the death of an inmate, asking for claims against a probation officer who took the woman to the jail to be dismissed.
The suit, filed in September by attorneys for Trina A. Corson, implicated responsibility to not just the county, but the probation officer, the warden and corrections officers at the facility for the death of her daughter, Kristen E. Corson in October of 2019.
According to their claims, the probation officer visited Kristen E. Corson at her home and asked for a routine urine test around 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 10, 2019.
When she told him she wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t produce a sample, he placed her under arrest for violating the terms of her probation and she was taken to the jail.
The suit claims the probation officer was “aware of decedent’s serious medical need” but did not inform corrections officers at the jail about it.
She continued to suffer because personnel at the jail were not “properly addressing her serious medial need,” it says.
She was found unresponsive in her cell at 2 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2019 and later died at the hospital. Her cause of death was determined to be pneumonia, according to the documents.
In the brief asking for the probation officer’s removal from liability filed Jan. 14, it is pointed out that Corson died 14 hours after she was in his custody.
Prior to his visit, she was at her home and could have arranged for medical treatment for herself, which she did not do.
The brief goes on to explain that the probation officer is an employee of the state, not the county, and his position has immunity under the 11th amendment.
The county has also filed an answer to the lawsuit, which denies allegations that she was visibly ill and in serious medical need.
“It is denied that her appearance at the time of arrival (at the jail) was such that she needed to be transported to a medical provider for evaluation,” it states.
The answer denies liability for Corson’s death and asks for judgment in their favor.
This was the second civil lawsuit involving a death filed by attorney Dylan T. Hastings of Philadelphia against the county and jail.
The first one, for the death of Michael Duffalo on March 10, 2019, was dismissed in October.
It was claimed in that case that Duffalo, who was in the jail on an outstanding bench warrant, was suffering a mental breakdown and drug withdrawal symptoms.
He was given a screening by a mental health employee who diagnosed him with major depressive disorder, but he was not deemed a suicide risk.
Duffalo hung himself with a bed sheet a few days later.