Victory in School Discrimination | May 2011

HIV Law Project and its pro bono partner Weil, Gotshal & Manges have achieved a significant victory on behalf of a young girl, who was asked to leave the private boarding school in which she had enrolled when it became known that she was HIV-positive. Under applicable state law, it is illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of her HIV status. HIV Law Project and its co-counsel Weil negotiated for several months with the school’s attorneys to achieve a favorable settlement. Yesterday, Judge Aarons of the New York Supreme Court, Bronx County, approved the settlement, which included a substantial monetary payment, and a requirement that the school undergo comprehensive sensitivity training.

“Unfortunately, discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS is still a major problem,” said Cynthia B. Knox, Deputy Executive Director of HIV Law Project. “But every case we win sends a message that people living with HIV/AIDS have civil rights too. Aside from seeking compensation for the harm such discrimination causes to our clients, HIV Law Project aggressively pursues HIV training as part of any settlement to prevent future breaches of the law.”

The Weil team included partner David Bower and associate Robert Vlasis in the Washington, DC office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

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