Colorado Inmates Sue Over Mosquitoes, Claim Repeated Bites Exposed Them To Risk Of Disease

Sunday, April 15th 2007, 5:57 pm
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) -- Three prisoners serving potential life sentences in Colorado say their lives have been threatened -- by mosquitoes.

The inmates at Walsenburg and Limon prisons sued, saying they were at risk of contacting West Nile virus or other diseases after they were bitten repeatedly by mosquitoes and suffered "the emotional and mental distress of whether or not each mosquito's bite would result in death or serious bodily injury."

Stephen G. Glover, Alan Smith and Michael Freeman said the bites caused high fever, headache, neck stiffness and muscle weakness.

"Each attack constituted bodily injury, which the (Department of Corrections) had the power to prevent, but consciously elected not to," wrote the inmates, acting as their own attorneys.

But the Colorado Court of Appeals swat down their case and upheld a lower court's decision to throw their case out.

Prison officials said no confirmed cases of West Nile virus have ever been found in the prison population, and inmates are provided mosquito repellant.