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North Carolina Jail Prisoner Housed with TB Infected Cellmate Receives $2,250 Settlement

The defendants in a lawsuit related to a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak at North Carolina’s Brunswick County jail have agreed to settle the case for $2,250.

The suit was filed in June 2010 by former prisoner Frank Baldwin, who claimed that he spent months in a cellblock with detainee Omar Morales, also known as Omar Perez.
Baldwin alleged that jail officials had failed to test Omar for TB when he was booked into the facility in October 2008. Despite Morales exhibiting serious symptoms beginning several months later, including spitting up blood, no action was taken.

“They wouldn’t never help him,” said Baldwin. Ignoring Morales’ symptoms led to a TB outbreak. By August 2009, 42 people had tested positive for TB at the jail. Of those only two had the active, contagious form of the disease.

The February 2011 settlement in Baldwin’s suit will be divided between the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, the County Commissioners, the county’s insurance company and the jail’s private medical contractor, Southern Health Partners, Inc. See: Baldwin v. Southern Health Partners, Superior Court of Brunswick County (NC), Case No. 10-cvs-1599.


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Related legal case

Baldwin v. Southern Health Partners