Federal judge lets NY prison hepatitis policy claim proceed

A lawsuit that says New York state officials, including former Gov. George Pataki, supported a policy to trim medical costs that led to the denial of hepatitis treatment for some inmates can proceed to trial, a judge has ruled.

In the decision entered in the public record Monday, U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie in Brooklyn ruled that a former prisoner identified only as "K. Doe" had adequately asserted his $250 million claim that Pataki and other government officials created and implemented a policy to withhold from state prisoners their positive hepatitis status and deny treatment as a cost-saving measure.

Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office, which is representing the defendants, including Pataki, said the office had no comment.