US: Gay prisoner sues jail, claims another prisoner bit off part of his nose
On Tuesday, a gay inmate of a Kentucky prison filed a lawsuit against a fellow prisoner, as well as the prison itself, claiming that he had part of his nose bitton off in an attack following days of harassment.
Brandon Milam, 26, filed the lawsuit against Warren County Regional Jail, saying that, following July’s attack, he was still in pain, had lost his sense of smell, and that he was facing reconstructive surgery, reported the San Gabriel Tribune.
He said that he was subjected to homophobic abuse from inmate Timothy Schwartz, who had threatened him for about a week before he bit off part of his nose and spat it out.
Another prisoner found the severed nose, and doctors at a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee had attempted to reattach it, but had been unsuccessful.
“It’s a real tragedy that this would happen in a protective custody setting, this outrageously violent act,” said M Austin Mehr, Milam’s attorney, “It was just like an animal.”
Mr Mehr said that Mr Milam was facing facial reconstructive surgery which would cost him tens of thousands of dollars, and the lawsuit filed seeks unspecified damages for pain, suffering and medical expenses.
According to the lawsuit, administrators at the prison had known that he was gay prior to the attack, and that he was placed in a single cell with 14 other men.
It also said that Schwartz had pinned Mr Milam against the wall and punched him in the face before biting his nose.
Bartley Hagerman, another attorney representing Mr Milam said the prison guards had been slow to respond to the attack: “You would think with all of the commotion they would have gotten there quicker.”
Timothy Schwartz had been indicted on an assault charge, had entered a plea of not guilty, and was still being held in the same prison.
Mr Milam had been jailed for violating his probation after a guilty plea to felony theft.
The lawsuit accused the jail, and the jailer of breach of duty and negligence. According to his attorneys, Mr Milam had been placed under house arrest since the attack.