Temple University instructor and prison activist Allen Hornblum is testifying in a lawsuit brought by prison inmates who say they have been injured and maimed due to years of illegal medical tests. The lawsuit, filed in October 2000 on behalf of 298 former inmates, claims the testing exposed the inmates to infectious diseases, radiation, dioxin and psychotropic drugs ? all without their informed consent.
Alfons J. Skorski, 52, has a scarred leg he says resulted from an athlete’s foot test at Philadelphia’s Holmesburg Prison in 1970. A week later his foot lost all feeling and he could walk only “by taking a step forward with my left foot and dragging my right foot.”Even now, he says, “if I don’t concentrate on that right foot it will still droop down, causing me to trip.”