Appellate court affirms victory in personal care home case

A Pennsylvania appellate court has ruled in favor of our client, a woman wrongfully kicked out of a personal care home because she has HIV.

Last year, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania scored a huge victory for the client: After a two-day public hearing, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) issued a decision awarding our client $50,000 plus interest, and ordered the personal care home to implement a non-discrimination policy. The personal care home remained adamant they had done nothing wrong and appealed the decision.

Now, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania has issued an opinion affirming the PHRC’s decision in all respects.

In a forceful, published opinion, the Commonwealth Court also awarded delay damages and attorneys fees assessed against both the defendant and their counsel. Specifically, the Court held that the appeal had no basis in fact or law and was taken only to delay payment to our client.

Sarah Schalman-Bergen, of counsel to the AIDS Law Project and associate at Berger & Montague, P.C., was co-counsel on this case.

For more, see stories on the ruling in The Morning Call newspaper here:
http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-northampton-hiv-canal-side-appeal-20111024,0,1020972.story

And in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly here:
https://www.aidslawpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/
Legal-Inteliigencer-article.pdf

The opinion can be read here:
http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Cwealth/out/2459CD10_10-20-11.pdf

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