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SCOTUS Finds No "Actual Damages" in Pilot's Case

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

March 29, 2012

By a split of five to three, with one justice not participating, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a pilot whose health information "was improperly shared between government agencies cannot collect damages for the emotional distress he suffered when he was punished for hiding his medical condition," The New York Times reports. The decision, which focused on the statutory meaning of "actual damages," overturned an earlier appeals court ruling in the pilot's favor, the report states. Justice Samuel A. Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, noted, "The Privacy Act does not unequivocally authorize an award of damages for mental or emotional distress." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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