Split Decision In An Aids Suit

This had the makings of a major civil rights dispute. A Delta Air Lines reservation sales manager with AIDS claimed that the carrier had violated his civil rights by firing him in 1991. But on May 10, the San Mateo County Superior Court jury returned a mixed verdict: a $275,000 award for the infliction of emotional distress, but no decision on the key issue of discrimination. For now, Delta has ducked the more than $20 million in damages sought by the former employee, Joseph Sullivan. The jury agreed, though, that Delta had violated Sullivan's right to privacy by listing him among other San Francisco employees with AIDS, and by requiring him to inform each of his co-workers personally of his illness.

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