Ramsey County has reached a settlement with a group of former workhouse inmates who contracted tuberculosis while in county custody.
Tuberculosis is a contagious disease that attacks the lungs. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The former inmates say they were exposed in 2008 when the county failed to properly test an infected inmate. Ninety nine former inmates have tested positive for TB as a result.
Attorney Robert Bennett represents the former inmates and says the county must pay their medical expenses, plus as much as $500,000.
"All of us should want these people treated immediately and well, so that the tuberculosis contagion doesn't infect the populace of the Twin Cities as a whole," he said. "That's the whole idea."
The settlement must still be approved by a U.S. District Court Judge. Another federal lawsuit filed against the county by the original infected inmate is still pending.