NEW YORK - A lawsuit brought by lawyers for inmates at a federal detention center in New York City calls a power failure that occurred there a "humanitarian crisis."
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Brooklyn federal court by the Federal Defenders of New York.
A message was left with the U.S. Justice Department seeking comment.
The lawsuit alleges that the Federal Bureau of Prisons violated the constitutional rights of about 1,600 inmates by denying legal visits after a Jan. 27 fire caused the failure.
Protesters gathered outside after news reports that inmates had largely been without heat or power for a week.
The lawsuit says the outage caused "inhumane" conditions for inmates and the response was "woefully inadequate."
It calls for the appointment of a special master to inspect the lockup.