A New York man Peter Solomon claims a rat bit his genitals while he was being held in a New York prison is to be allowed to sue the authorities.
The Vietnam vet says the rat emerged from a hole in his mattress and bit him in February 2007 while he was serving time on a charge of menacing his wife.
In February 2007, Mr Solomon, 54, was jailed in the Nassau County Correctional Center near New York City. He was transferred to a medical observation unit amid worries he was mentally ill.
Peter Solomon, who said he later had to endure a course of rabies jabs, says jailers knew the ward in which they placed him was infested with rodents.
He says the jail was negligent and mistreated him because he is black.
Lawyers for Nassau County sought to have the suit dismissed. Among other arguments, its experts said they saw no evidence of serious injury.
County officials said they were shielded from lawsuits because they had acted in an official capacity, they were unaware of substantial risks, and they disputed the notion that a rodent problem existed in the jail.
They also noted the wound did not require stitching and argued that his injuries were merely psychological.
The parties dispute whether the rodent was a mouse or a rat, whether Solomon was bitten or scratched, and the nature and extent of his injuries.\Although those at the centre claim there is no problem, Judge Arthur Spatt said the case could proceed and: “The parties dispute whether the rodent was a mouse or a rat, whether Solomon was bitten or scratched, and the nature and extent of his injuries.”