Judge Throws Out Inmate's Solitary Confinement Lawsuit
A judge says a mentally-ill inmate cannot sue the company that kept him locked up in solitary confinement for nine straight months.
Frank Horton was an inmate at a Metro Nashville prison facility. That facility is operated by the for-profit Corrections Corporation of America.
But what really makes this case unusual is the reason the judge gave for dismissing Horton's lawsuit.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge John Nixon says there's no proof that Frank Horton was physically harmed by his nine months in solitary. That's the requirement of a 1995 federal law that was designed to make it more difficult for inmates to sue their captors.
Nixon threw out a civil-rights lawsuit filed by Horton's grandmother on his behalf.
But video, obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates last year, raises some disturbing questions about that claim.
Horton's lawyer did succeed in getting him transferred to a prison where he was put on medication.
He's now been released and, according to his family, he's doing much better.
CCA has denied that decisions about Horton's care were motivated by fears of losing bonuses, as a former supervisor claims.