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Westmoreland County Prison's medical provider sued over stillbirth

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

The medical provider at Westmoreland County Prison has been sued in federal court for failing to provide appropriate care for a pregnant inmate last year.

According to the three-count lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court, Tiffany L. Pollitt of Erie contends her civil rights were violated by staff at Wexford Health Sources Inc., which resulted in the stillbirth of her son.

In the lawsuit filed by Pollitt and her husband, Brian C. Camp Sr., of Erie, she said that while she was an inmate at the jail in July she was punched in the stomach during a dispute with two inmates over a volleyball.

Pollitt contends that after the fight she was put in a disciplinary unit, where for six days her repeated pleas for medical assistance for her unborn child went unanswered by a Wexford doctor and six company nurses who were assigned to the jail, according to the lawsuit.

Neither Westmoreland County nor the jail was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

No one from Wexford, a company based in Allegheny County, returned a call seeking comment on Monday.

Wexford was hired by county commissioners last year to run the jail's infirmary and was paid about $1.7 million.

Pollitt's baby boy, whom she named Brian, was stillborn on Aug. 9, according to the lawsuit.

“Baby Brian Camp suffered an unnecessary and needless death because a for-profit corporation that provides the medical services to the Westmoreland County Prison failed in every respect to provide the baby and his mother even the most minimal care expected in a civilized society,” wrote John F. Mizner, Pollitt's Erie-based lawyer.

Pollitt, 33, formerly of Adamsburg, was in jail awaiting trial on theft and related offenses. Pollitt was sentenced on Oct. 29 by Westmoreland County Judge Debra Pezze to serve one to two years in prison, according to court records.

She is an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy in Lycoming County.

She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from the medical provider.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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