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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) — The state of Florida may have to pay millions to treat as many as 20,000 inmates after a federal judge ruled state prison officials failed to properly care for felons infected with the hepatitis C virus.

The Miami Herald reported U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker on Friday ordered the Florida Department of Corrections to treat inmates who test positive for the viral infection with a special type of drugs.

Walker concluded the state prisons system had failed to properly treat inmates due to a lack of funding.
The class action lawsuit was filed in May by three inmates.

Michelle Glady, a department spokeswoman, said the state has not yet decided whether to appeal the decision. She said the agency is reviewing the order and “determining a plan of action.”

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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