The plaintiff in this case had epilepsy. ?He worked for the Town of Winthrop as a reserve deputy marshal.?? He had a seizure while responding to a call? in? a ?bar.?? ?His? doctor? restricted? him? from driving or carrying a weapon for six months. ?The plaintiff then met with the mayor.? ?The plaintiff told the mayor about the details of his medical condition, after saying the information was not to be shared with anyone else. ?The mayor asked him to resign, and the plaintiff agreed. ?The plaintiff?s letter? ?of? ?resignation? ?said? ?it? ?was?? for?? ?health reasons.? ?Subsequently, the mayor revealed some of the details of the plaintiff?s medical history to the newspaper.?? The employee sued for disability discrimination and invasion of privacy.? ?The superior court granted the defendants? motion for summary judgment. ?Division III reversed as to the privacy claim. ?Division III said it was an issue of fact whether the plaintiff?s medical condition was still a private matter. ?Perhaps the most interesting part of the opinion is its holding that one of the reasons people avoid disclosure of private facts is to prevent others from showing them pity or sympathy.?? ?On the other hand, the panel?s suggestion? that? the? people? would? enjoy ?a? lesser right to privacy in cases involving the release of information under the Public Disclosure Act is contrary to law. ?White v. Winthrop, No. 23012-1- III (07/26/02; Schultheis, Kurtz, Kato).
Mayor?s Release of Employee Medical Information to Newspaper May Violate Right to Privacy
Jul 26, 2005