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INMATE DEFENDS HIS LAWSUIT SEEKING BETTER-QUALITY SHOES

Prison inmate Karl Wm Wins-ness denies that his suit seeking better shoes was a frivolous action.

Winsness said he has a medical condition for which a University Hospital orthopedic specialist suggested a "good-quality, soft-soled" tennis-type shoe.Utah Attorney General Jan Graham was among attorneys general throughout the country who on Aug. 2 issued statements protesting what they said were frivolous inmate suits.

Among examples listed by Graham was the suit by an inmate she said claimed a constitutional right to wear Reebock "pump" shoes instead of the regulation shoes.

Winsness, in a statement released this week by attorney Brian Barnard, said the prison, in disregard of the medical needs of inmates, had prohibited them from buying their own better-quality shoes.

The taxpayers were then "forced to pay for all our shoes and more inmate broken, sprained and injured feet, legs and ankles," Winsness said.

Winsness said that he dropped his suit when the prison changed its policy and allowed the inmates to buy their own shoes.