A prisoner who had his penis bitten by a rodent could sue the county officials, a judge in New York has ruled.
The man, 54-year-old Peter Solomon, claims that the rat emerged from a hole in his mattress and bit him on his penis and on his hand, causing bleeding.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt noted “there was no significant blood loss and the wound did not require stitching.”
Although the injuries weren’t serious Solomon, claims that he has suffered emotional distress and “complete sexual dysfunction.”
Solomon also had to go undergo treatment in the form of rabies jabs.
The prisoner also told the judge that the officials knew there was a rodent problem on the ward, and that they mistreated him because he was black.
The county prison officials on the other hand said that they were unaware of substantial risks, and disputed that a rodent problem existed in the jail, and therefore should not be sued.
But the attorney of Solomon could show on 11 formal inmate complaints about rodents in the jail, as well as a petition signed by 50 inmates to try to stop the rodent problem.
Judge Spatt said that team Solomon had raised enough issues for the case to proceed.
Mr Solomon, is a Vietnam veteran who’s been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.
He was jailed in the Nassau County Correctional Center near New York City, pending trial on charges he had menaced his wife.
He was released from jail a month after the rat incident.