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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A Spartanburg County man who served in Afghanistan with the South Carolina National Guard has sued the state prison agency because of problems with his health insurance.

Aldous Copeland works at the Tyger River Correctional Institution in Enoree.

Copeland says he had difficulties getting his insurance reinstated when he returned from Afghanistan in 2011. He developed colon cancer and said he would have had more treatment options if there had not been problems with his coverage.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Stephanie Givens says the agency follows state and federal laws. Givens says the agency offered to reinstate Copeland's benefits retroactively and he declined.

Copeland's attorney, John Reckenbeil, is seeking Copeland's lost wages and benefits as well as attorney's fees.

Circuit Judge Mark Hayes did not issue a ruling at Thursday's hearing.

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