Prisoners' Chicken Lawsuit Doesn't Fly With Judge

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by three prisoners in Vermont over a piece of chicken. The men, including Christopher Butts, 52, of Killingly, said they were sickened by the chicken served in prison.

Butts told U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions he bit into a piece of microwaved Banquet chicken that contained pus, grain and corn after buying it at a prison store in November 2005. Afterward, Butts said, he had diarrhea for a week, lost weight, was harassed by other inmates and can no longer eat chicken.

The suit, which  was filed against ConAgra Foods, sought $100,000 in damages.

The two other inmates, Henry Butson and Corydon Cochran, said they ate part of the chicken while serving prison terms at Lee Adjustment Facility, in Beattyville, Ky., where some Vermont inmates are sent because of crowding in Vermont jails.

Each man acted as his own attorney for the proceeding, questioning the others in court. They appeared in court  last Thursday.

The judge said the men did not prove the product was defective.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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