Civil Rights & Constitutional Law
Former jail nursing director Gary Brack sues County Executive Budish, MetroHealth CEO Boutros...
May 22, 2019
Monday, September 16, 2019
CLEVELAND, OH—On September 13, Corrionne Lawrence, who was formerly incarcerated at the Cuyahoga County jail, sued the County and six corrections officers in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
The complaint, available here, alleges that last fall, corrections officers:
The suit documents numerous other instances of abuse against Cuyahoga County jail inmates, showing that the County has a custom, policy, pattern, and practice of fostering a culture of abuse and corruption at the jail and failing to train and supervise corrections officers.
Lawrence’s lead counsel, Ashlie Case Sletvold, said, “For too long, Cuyahoga County has nurtured a culture of violence at the jail. Corrections officers should not be doling out beatdowns or threatening people for reporting abuse. It is time for the county to reckon with the scope of the harm its practices have caused. We will hold the county and the individual officers responsible for what they have done to Corrionne Lawrence.”
The suit is captioned Lawrence v. Cuyahoga County, et al. Case No. CV-19-921522, and states causes of action for violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, civil assault and battery, and civil liability for criminal acts including felonious assault, unlawful restraint, intimidation, menacing, interfering with civil rights, and dereliction of duty. Individual corrections officers named include Christopher Little, Brandon Smith, Barry Hickerson, and Beverly Witt. Two other officers sued remain unidentified.
Sletvold, Subodh Chandra, and Brian Bardwell of The Chandra Law Firm LLC represent Mr. Lawrence.
This is the third lawsuit in 2019 filed by Chandra Law against Cuyahoga County and its corrections officers over abuse, torture, and other misconduct in the jail. The others include a retaliation suit on behalf of Nurse Gary Brack, who blew the whistle on jail conditions to County Council, and Chantelle Glass, who suffered torture and then medical indifference by corrections officers.