DETROIT-- The Michigan Corrections Department is fighting back against an inmate's claim that he lost a tooth and suffered gum disease because he was denied toothpaste for nearly a year.
Fifty-eight-year-old Jerry Flanory of Flint made headlines last spring when he persuaded a federal appeals court to allow him to sue officials at Newberry prison.
But the state says in court documents filed this week that Flanory had only five teeth when he entered prison in 2004 and the tooth taken out in 2006 had long been in poor shape.
The state also says Flanory had 20 tubes of toothpaste and four toothbrushes among his possessions when he moved to another prison in May 2006.
Flanory is representing himself in the case and couldn't be reached in prison for comment Friday.