Westchester inmates, upset over ban on dental floss, sue for $500 million

NEW YORK— A group of Westchester County Jail inmates are suing the county for $500 million, claiming in a federal lawsuit that the jail’s refusal to let them use dental floss has ruined their teeth.

In a 25-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Santiago Gomez, 26, the lead plaintiff in the suit who is being held on a gun charge, chides his jailors for violating the prisoners’ civil rights by “not allowing inmates access to dental floss while being aware that failure to use causes cavities.”

“We feel that the Westchester County Department of Corrections is depriving inmates of the use of dental floss, which is causing us cavities,” Gomez told The Journal News/LoHud.com in a telephone interview today. “They recognize the importance of it, that you have to floss, in the regulation manual. They clearly state if you don’t floss you’re going to get cavities.”

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Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

Jorge Fitz-Gibbon’s career as a journalist has spanned 23 years, including stints at The New York Daily News and The Journal News. He is the father of an 11-year-old boy, and has been a single dad for seven of those years, recently working on building a blended family. He blogs for LoHud.com on parenting and music, drawing on his passion for both. Both come together in his life as well: His son currently plays guitar and saxophone, while Jorge is a guitar player with Bud Metro and the Corrections, The Journal News’ on-again, off-again newsroom band. Not surprisingly, Jorge’s love for classic rock and metal has rubbed off on his son, whose debut performance at a school talent show was Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.” Now they’re working on Led Zeppelin and keeping his grades up in school.