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Judge approves settlement in lawsuit over quality of health care in Arizona's prisons

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PHOENIX — A judge has approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 33,000 inmates in Arizona over the quality of health care in state prisons.

State officials agreed in October to increase health care staffing, offer cancer screenings to certain prisoners, follow requirements in treating patients with chronic diseases, and provide more out-of-cell time to prisoners kept in isolated cells.

State officials didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing in making the settlement.

The 2012 lawsuit alleged the failure of medical personnel at one prison to diagnose the metastasized cancer of one inmate resulted in his liver enlarging to the belly size of a pregnant woman at full term.

It said another inmate with a history of prostate cancer had to wait more than two years for a biopsy.

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