Payne v. Taslimi, No. 18-7030 (4th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
While plaintiff was incarcerated in a prison medical unit, his doctor reminded him within earshot of others that he had not taken his HIV medication. Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the doctor's conduct violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, rejecting plaintiff's clam that the doctor's statement violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Rather, the court concluded that when the doctor disclosed plaintiff's HIV status, plaintiff was in prison, a place where individuals have a curtailed expectation of privacy. Furthermore, whatever expectations remain fail to include the diagnosis of or medication for HIV, a communicable disease. The court also rejected plaintiff's HIPAA claim because HIPAA does not create a private right of action that plaintiff may avail himself of.