A former Michigan inmate who claims he was denied toothpaste for nearly a year can sue prison officials, citing his constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment, a federal appeals court said.
Jerry Flanory, of Flint, says he developed gum disease and had a tooth removed in 2006 as a result of no toothpaste. The appeals court reinstated his lawsuit Thursday against officials at the Newberry prison in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
"This court has found dental health to be of great importance," a three-judge panel said, citing a past decision from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.