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Inmate settles putrid-food suit

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Milwaukee County sheriff's officials are crying foul, after an insurance company settled a lawsuit from a jail inmate over the food he was being served.

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Sheriff David Clarke was hoping to have a trial this week so a judge could back up his decision to serve what prisoner Terrance Prude called a rancid mixture known as Nutraloaf. But sheriff's inspector Edward Bailey said an insurer for the company that makes Nutraloaf settled the case at the last minute.

Officials have not said how much Prude will get. Bailey says it won't cost taxpayers anything but says the settlement will encourage more lawsuits. Aramark makes Nutraloaf for jails around the country. It's made up of things like carrots, cabbage, biscuit mix and a dairy blend.

Prude said it made him so sick that he lost 14 pounds over 19 days. He said there was no reason to punish him with that diet, because he was not a discipline problem. He said he should have been given bag lunches, like other inmates.

In his suit, Prude demanded that the county disclose the recipe for Nutraloaf. Federal Judge J.P. Stadtmueller rejected the request, but a federal appeals court ordered that the recipe be disclosed. Other courts have ruled that Nutraloaf is not cruel-and-unusual punishment, but the appellate court said Judge Stadtmueller should have punished the sheriff for not saying what's in the dish.

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