A federal judge has given class-action status to a lawsuit that alleges Connecticut's Correction Department has not done enough to screen and treat inmates with hepatitis C in the state's prisons.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shea this week also turned down a state motion to dismiss that lawsuit.
The plaintiffs say they were denied sufficient treatment by prison medical staff, resulting in suffering while putting thousands of other prisoners at risk.
Similar federal lawsuits have been filed across the country.
A judge in Tennessee this week ordered that state to mediate with a group of prisoners who are demanding treatment for their hepatitis C infections.
The Connecticut legislature's Office of Fiscal Analysis has estimated it could cost up to $158 million to diagnose and treat inmates with hepatitis C.