7.19.2006

N.D. Cal. Notes Split Re Whether a Plaintiff May Recover Damages for Emotional Distress under the Privacy Act

Per Stafford v. Social Sec. Admin., --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2006 WL 1795120 (N.D.Cal. Jun. 28, 2006):

Finally, the Court notes the Circuit split on whether a plaintiff may recover damages for emotional distress under the Privacy Act, which the Ninth Circuit has not yet addressed. Compare Johnson v. Dep't of Treasury, 700 F.2d 971 (5th Cir.1983) (compensation allowed for proven mental injuries), with Fitzpatrick v. IRS, 665 F.2d 327, 331 (11th Cir.1982) (no compensation for "generalized mental injuries, loss of reputation, embarrassment or other non-quantifiable injuries"); see also Hudson v. Reno, 130 F.3d 1193, 1207 (6th Cir.1997); Orekoya, 330 F.3d at 7-10. The Supreme Court explicitly left the question unresolved in [Doe v.]Chao. 540 U.S. 614, 627 n. 12 (2004).

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