Inmates infected with valley fever at a federal prison in Central California can sue the government for damages even though the prison is run by a private contractor, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
Although the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is not involved in day-to-day operations at Taft Correctional Institution in Kern County, the bureau can be held responsible for placing the inmates there without warning them about an ongoing outbreak of the airborne illness, said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. A warning might have allowed them to request a transfer or take precautions, the court said.
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