Detroit MI Prison Lawsuit: Ex inmate cites constitution in toothpaste lawsuit

05/11/2010 // West Palm Beach , Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Detroit, MI—A man who was denied toothpaste while serving a five-year prison sentence filed a lawsuit. The plaintiff referred to his constitutional rights to establish grounds for the personal injury suit to proceed. A federal appeals court allegedly stated prison officials could be held responsible under the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. Authorities at Newberry prison were named as defendants, according to information provided by the Boston Herald.

Former inmate 58-year-old Jerry Flanory contended he developed gum disease after being denied toothpaste for almost a year. Flanory also required a tooth extraction in 2006.

According to reports, Flanory refused to take part in classes in which inmates work towards obtaining a GED. The plaintiff contended he already had a GED. Through attending a community college, Flanory also received an associate degree.

However, the prison was apparently unaware of his scholarly achievements prior to his incarceration. Flanory consequently lost his “indigent status” at the prison.

As a result, he was required to purchase his own toothpaste. Flanory could not afford the toothpaste, thus leaving him unable to prevent any adverse dental conditions.

After spending nearly a year without toothpaste, the prison finally confirmed Flanory had already obtained an associate degree.

Reports did not disclose the extent of damages being sought out through the lawsuit. The case continues.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Michigan Personal Injury Attorneys.

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