The lawyer for 19 inmates suing the city Department of Correction after they were sickened by meatloaf they were served at Rikers Island, says laboratory testing has confirmed there was rat poison in the food.

A sample of the meatloaf preserved by plaintiff Reginald Dupree was analyzed at EMSL Analytical in New Jersey and found to contain Brodifacoum, an anti-coagulant that is marketed as rodenticide, according to the lab report provided to The Daily News.

“There’s no justification for rat poison to be in an inmate’s food whatsoever,” the inmates’ lawyer, Joanne Squillace, told The News on Monday.

The city Department of Correction is investigating the incident and conducting separate testing of the meatloaf. The city’s testing is being performed by an outside lab because the Department of Health was not equipped to analyze what appeared to be blue and green pellets in the meatloaf.

A city source close to the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation said: “It is premature to draw any conclusions about test results from samples provided by the plaintiff inmates that the city has not analyzed and verified. After the initial (lawsuit) filing, a judge said the inmates did not face immediate harm and it was unlikely that their legal claims had merit.”

Squillace filed a lawsuit in March in Brooklyn Federal Court alleging inmates were stricken with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding after eating the meatloaf on March 3 at the Anna M. Kross jail, and they were not provided proper medical treatment.

The website PetMD states Brodifacoum prevents “clotting of blood,” and is commonly used in rat and mouse poisons.

Brodifacoum is marketed under a variety of trade names including d-CON, Finale, Havoc, Pestoff, Rodend and Rataquill Colombia, the lab report notes.

Squillace said when the meatloaf was sealed in the bag when she received it from Dupree and that’s the way it was delivered to the lab.

“As officers of the court, we would never fabricate evidence,” she said.

A chunk of meatloaf stashed in a soft drink bottle by another inmate did not have enough of the mystery substance to test, according to the lab report.

Source: NY Daily News