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Doe v. Chao
United States Supreme Court
540 U.S. 614 (2004)
The United States Department of Labor (the department) (defendant) improperly disclosed Buck Doe’s Social Security number, in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974 (the act). Doe sued the department, seeking statutory damages for emotional distress that resulted from the disclosure. The district court granted Doe summary judgment and awarded him the minimum statutory award of $1,000. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed, finding that the statutory minimum was only available to compensate for actual damages, not emotional-distress damages. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)
Dissent (Ginsburg, J.)
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