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Court hears emotional damage claim in privacy case
Court weighs whether government be sued for emotional damage in medical records privacy case
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Stanmore Cooper says he has a right to sue the government for emotional distress in a medical privacy case. Government lawyers want his lawsuit tossed.

The Supreme Court heard Wednesday from federal lawyers who said the government cannot be sued for such damages under the Privacy Act.

Cooper is HIV-positive. He hid that from the Federal Aviation Administration when he applied for pilot licenses between 1998 and 2004. He told the Social Security Administration about it so he could receive medical benefits.

The Social Security shared that information with the FAA. Cooper admitted making a false statement and he paid a fine. The FAA has since changed its policy, but HIV-positive applicants once were denied a pilot's license.

Cooper says sharing the records without his consent caused emotional distress.

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