New York Prisoner Sues: 'Rodent Bit my Penis'

By Jason Beahm on January 14, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A federal judge is allowing a federal civil rights lawsuit to go forward by Peter Solomon who says that a rodent bit him on the penis. Solomon filed the suit contending the county exercised "deliberate indifference to his health and safety in failing to adequately protect him from rodents."

Solomon was being held in a Long Island jail at the time of the alleged rodent biting. U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt denied a motion by Nassau County arguing that Solomon's lawsuit should be dismissed by summary judgment. Solomon contends that jail officials didn't take reasonable steps to ensure his health and safety during his time at the East Meadow jail, the Associated Press reports. The judge agreed that Solomon's case satisfied to minimal threshold to survive a motion for summary judgment.

According to the lawsuit, a rat or similar rodent came out of a hole in his mattress and bit him in his special place. "The county is in trouble," declared Ambrose W. Wotorson, one of Solomon's attorneys. "There was a long-standing practice and pattern of not taking complaints about rodents seriously. I guess because they are inmates."

County officials contended they were shielded from lawsuits as they were acting in their official capacity, were unaware of any substantial risks, and because there was no rodent problem in the jail, the BBC reports.

Solomon says that the rodent bite has caused emotional distress as well as sexual dysfunction. His attorneys have noted that there were 11 inmate complaints about rodents in the two years prior to his injuries. 50 inmates also organized a petition complaining about rodents in the jail. (Who knew there were petitions in jail?)

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