The Village of Lebanon and its police officer Robert Harris are being sued by a man who claims the officer disclosed the fact of his HIV positive status to several of his friends and acquaintances who previously had been unaware of his situation.
The incident took place June 2, 2006 during a traffic stop, according to a suit filed May 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
Identified as John Doe, the plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorney's fees and costs. He is represented by John P. Turner of Belleville.
Doe claims that he had not been injured, was not bleeding and did not have any sort of altercation with anyone on the date he was stopped by the officer.
"Defendant had no legal duty to disclose Plaintiff's HIV positive status to anyone and, in fact, had a duty not to disclose the information and his disclosure of the information was gratuitous," the complaint states.
"The information disclosed was not a matter of legitimate concern to the public in general."
Doe claims that disclosure of his private health information caused him to suffer extreme mental anguish, embarrassment, extreme emotional distress and adversely affected his social relationships with other members of the public.
He also claims his health information is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and that the officer violated the Aids Confidentiality Act which prohibits disclosure of HIV unless there is direct skin or mucous membrane contact.