CHARLESTON – A woman is suing over claims she was kneed in the abdomen by a correctional officer while an inmate in West Virginia.

Krissa Cornell filed a lawsuit Sept. 29 in Kanawha Circuit Court against correctional officer Parks and correctional officer Berlin, individually and in their official capacities as correctional officers of the Western Regional Jail, the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority and John Doe, citing battery and negligence.

According to the complaint, in October 2012, Cornell was physically abused by defendant Berlin who kneed her in the abdomen, causing serious injury, while defendant Parks watched and failed to intervene. Unknown personnel are accused of gross negligence in allowing the placement of the plaintiff under Berlin's and Parks' supervision while the jail is accused of negligently hiring and retaining the defendant officers.

The defendants are accused of violating the plaintiff's 8th Amendment rights with cruel and unusual punishment, and the defendant officers are accused of civil battery, civil assault, outrageous and atrocious conduct, negligent infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy and common law negligence.

Cornell seeks compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees.

She is represented by attorney Matthew J. Woelfel of Huntington. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 14-C-1780

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