An out-of-court settlement has been reached in a discrimination and medical malpractice suit filed by a paraplegic man who accused officials of the Prince William-Manassas Adult Detention Center of giving him inadequate care while he was a prisoner.

An attorney for Philip John Rout, 25, of Lorton, said the settlement amount, agreed to Tuesday, is confidential but "is a substantial sum" that amounts to "several tens of thousands of dollars." In a telephone interview, Rout said the settlement was under $50,000.

The attorney, Victor Glasberg, said agreement was reached with Prison Health Services, Inc., former detention center Superintendent William H. Britton and Claire Whyte, a nurse who worked at the jail when Rout spent time there in 1982 on a drug conviction.

A separate malpractice suit is still pending against Dr. R. Jackson Dykes, the detention center doctor who oversaw Rout's care during his incarceration, Glasberg said.

Rout, who was paralyzed from the chest down in an auto accident six years ago, spent seven months at the Prince William jail after being convicted of distributing 2.9 ounces of marijuana.

He had alleged in court papers that while in jail he was denied proper medication and the use of equipment for the handicapped such as bed rails and special bars and suffered frequent falls as a result.

He also complained he was left to shower in a stationary chair without arms or any other means of support.

"They told him to take a shower in his wheelchair," Glasberg said earlier this year."

An attorney for Whyte said yesterday the settlement was made to avoid the cost of a lengthy trial and his client admitted no wrongdoing by agreeing to it. Neither attorneys for Prison Health Services, a Wilmington, Del. firm contracted to provide health care at the Northern Virginia jail at the time of Rout's incarceration, nor attorneys for Britton could be reached for comment yesterday.

In September, the General Services Administration agreed to install facilities for the handicapped in Alexandria's federal courthouse so that Rout could have easy access to the building when his case came to trial there. A wooden ramp, bathroom and water fountain for the handicapped have been installed as a result of a suit Rout filed against GSA in May.

Rout said in an interview he is "satisfied" with the settlement and described his prison ordeal as "something I shouldn't have had to go through."