WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says a man can’t sue the government for emotional distress after two agencies improperly shared his medical records.
The high court on Wednesday agreed with the government’s contention that Stanmore Cooper’s lawsuit should be thrown out.
The San Francisco man, who is HIV-positive, disclosed that information to Social Security officials to receive medical benefits but withheld it from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Social Security Administration gave the FAA the medical records during a criminal investigation involving pilots’ medical fitness to fly. Cooper then sued for emotional damage from violations of the Privacy Act.
The government argued it cannot be sued for such damages under the Privacy Act. The high court agreed on a 5-3 vote.
Justice Elena Kagan did not participate.