Arizona loses appeal in suit over inmate care

Posted: Updated:

Arizona corrections officials lost their appeal of a ruling that lets approximately 33,000 inmates join a lawsuit that protests the quality of health care in state prisons.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Thursday that rejected the state's argument that the inmates didn't have enough in common for a lower-court judge to grant them class-action status.

The appeals court said the prisoners met the requirements for expanding the number of inmates covered under the suit from 13 to the entire prison population.

The lawsuit alleges the prisons don't meet the basic requirements for providing adequate medical and mental health care to inmates and that prisoners face dangerous delays and outright denials in receiving treatment.

Prison officials denied the allegations that inmate care is grossly inadequate.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved.