Appeals Court Reinstates Tennessee Prison Injury Lawsuit

Appeals Court Reinstates Tennessee Prison Injury LawsuitA federal appeals court recently ruled that a lawsuit filed by a woman against a privately run Tennessee prison for allegedly mistreating her grandson should not have been dismissed by a lower court in 2009.

In her original lawsuit, filed in 2008, Mary Braswell contended that Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) had treated her grandson – Frank Horton – inhumanely by denying him mental health care and not allowing him to shower for months, reports The Associated Press. In addition, the lawsuit contends that Horton was confined to an isolated cell for a seven-month period.

U.S. District Judge John Nixon dismissed the lawsuit, saying that the harm suffered by Horton was not enough to warrant a lawsuit.

However, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a divided decision that it was legitimate to question the extent of the injuries that Horton, who was incarcerated for a non-violent probation violation, endured while in prison.

The Tennessean reports that Chief Judge Alice M. Batchelder dissented with her peers, stating that the lawsuit should have been filed against individuals and not CCA without showing that the organization was aware of the alleged policies that led to Horton's mistreatment.