We are picking up our discussion from earlier this month of a U.S. Supreme Court case that provoked some strong feelings for commentators. As we explained in our April 5 post, the case was brought by a man whose HIV status became public knowledge at the hands of the federal government.
We are continuing our discussion of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The case started with a man, HIV-positive and near death, applying for Social Security disability benefits. It ended with a majority decision that the Privacy Act does not allow damages for mental and emotional distress claims.
The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down a decision that reinforces the doctrine of sovereign immunity, even when questions of private health data are concerned. The case specifically addresses the provisions of the federal Privacy Act, but it started with a terrible diagnosis and a claim for long-term disability benefits.