Michael Isolda is a unique case. The formerly full-figured man dropped from 460 pounds to only 160 pounds before he entered Rikers Island on a drug possession charge. That's a 300 pound difference, all thanks to gastric bypass surgery.
Unfortunately, the surgery, which shrinks the stomach into a small pouch, requires that the person's diet change and food be heavily chewed. At Rikers, according to Isolda, they only gave him four minutes to eat his entire meal. A request for more time to eat would be met with a trip to solitary confinement, reports the New York Daily News.
The speed eating resulted in vomiting after every meal and, according to claims, eventually the separation of his stomach from his intestines.
The images provided to the Daily News are dramatic. One image shows him at his full former weight. Another shows his present state of shriveled skin, ribs, and bones.
Both Isolda, and his doctor, warned the judge about his special dietary needs. The judge stapled the doctor's note onto the file, but the prison allegedly ignored his needs. Ignoring a patient's requisite medical care could form the basis of a lawsuit for violation of his constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment. The remedy is to file a Section 1983 lawsuit.
However, because of the sheer volume of bored inmates filing these lawsuits on a daily basis, he'll probably want to tack on some additional claims as well.
He might also have a case for negligence, as correctional facilities are required to properly feed and house their inmates.
His wife, meanwhile, is suing for loss of consortium, as the incision done to repair his digestive system apparently gets in the way of their intimate activities.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections told the Daily News that "DOC policy and practice affords all inmates adequate time to eat each meal. All inmates have both daily routine and emergency access to medical care to make their needs known."
On the bright side, at least they didn't feed him Nutriloaf.
- Speak to a New York Personal Injury Attorney (FindLaw)
- Inmate Sues FL Prison for 'Cruel, Unusual' Soy Food (FindLaw's Legally Weird Blog)
- Despite a Positive Yelp! Rating, Avoid Cook County Jail (FindLaw's Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Former Rikers Inmate: Prison Food Is A Death Sentence (Gothamist)