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Local News in Brief : Countywide : Ex-Jail Inmate Sues, Claims Misdiagnosis

A former Orange County Jail inmate sued county and state agencies Thursday, claiming that he was left homeless and unable to work because county medical personnel erroneously told him during his incarceration that he had AIDS.

In the lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court, Richard Magallanos claims that county medical personnel informed him that he had tested positive in three separate tests for acquired immune deficiency syndrome in 1987.

Shortly before his release from jail in October, 1987, Magallanos said, he was told he also had tested positive for tuberculosis. Magallanos said he never took a tuberculosis test but medication for the disease was prescribed for him.

Two months later, Magallanos said, he took a fourth blood test at the Orange County Health Care Agency and was told that he did not have AIDS.

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Magallanos claims he has been ostracized by his family and friends, who feared they would catch the fatal diseases. He also claims he has been unable to find work and housing.

The suit, which seeks $200,000 in damages, also names Sheriff Brad Gates, the Orange County Health Care Agency, Jail Medical Services and the state Board of Corrections.


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