|Prison inmates in Valhalla|
Several prison inmates in New York, have filed a $500 million lawsuit demanding access to dental floss.
They want $500 million for not being provided with dental floss since they were incarcerated.
Eleven inmates jailed in the Westchester County jail in Valhalla, stated in a federal civil rights lawsuit that they are losing their teeth and are suffering from the pain because they are not allowed to use dental floss.
Some stated that they are brushing their three times a day, "the tongue and gums included," but still suffer from bleeding gums, constant dental work and mental anguish.
The Assistant Commissioner Justin Pruyne defended the ban. Floss he said can potentially be used as a weapon. He said that the prison staff are investigating whether there is a product, perhaps a thread that breaks easily, which they could allow in prison.
The lawsuit filed September 10 in Manhattan, stated that when cavities develop, prisoners are given only temporary fillers, which eventually fall off and lead to tooth loss and chronic pain.
Prisoners are denied crowns and root canals, it stated.
Santiago Gomez, the lead plaintiff, filed the lawsuit without an attorney.
Gomez, who is in jail on a gun charge, stated that the rights of inmates are violated by the lack of access to floss.
He stated that other prisons allow flossing. The lawsuit seeks $500 million for the alleged violations.
The lawsuit names as defendants the Westchester County Commissioner Kevin Cherveko, the company hired to manage the health care of prisoners and two dentists.