Copycat Bunk-Bed Case Filed in England

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The BBC reports this week that an inmate in England is suing the country’s Prison Service for negligence after he fell off the top bunk in his cell, sustaining a “bad gash to the head.” This may or may not have been inspired by the case I reported on last week of the US college student who filed a similar lawsuit. Normally, you’d expect people to be “inspired” by cases that are successful, but maybe this guy has a new theory.

The inmate, who was said to be at a jail in Oxfordshire at Bullingdon near Bicester, which really narrows it down for me, described his lawsuit in a letter to Inside Time, a “prisoners’ magazine” that someone at the BBC apparently subscribes to. According to the letter, like the US college student, the inmate had fallen after rolling over in his sleep, and said that the bunk bed was to blame. The top bunks were “an accident waiting to happen,” he said, and suggested that everybody should be sleeping at ground level.

The Prison Service responded that it was “trying to meet the needs of prisoners who felt unsafe sleeping on the top bunk,” which is probably unlikely, and that “prisoners who sleep in bunk beds have been advised for some time on how to use them safely and are encouraged to report any concerns to prison staff,” which is probably untrue.

All right, you scum, welcome to your first day at Bullington near Bicester in Oxfordshire.  Follow the rules and you won’t get in any trouble.  No fighting, no stabbing, no raping, or I’ll break your bloody skulls.  Also, please take time to review the pamphlet that you were given about how to use your bunk beds and please do report any concerns or fears you may have about your bunk by filling out one of these cards for our suggestion box.  Thank you so very much.

The Prison Service spokesman said that it had denied liability and that accommodating prisoners who wanted to sleep at ground level would not always be possible.