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April 25, 2013 / Teresa Mkhitarian

Castlewood Treatment Center Settles HIV Discrimination Lawsuit

Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders has settled a case brought against it by a women for turning her away because of her HIV infection.

Sue Gibson, who has been HIV positive since 1989, tried to get treatment at Castlewood for an eating disorder and was initially told there was a waiting list. Gibson waited months as her health deteriorated before going back to Castlewood. An employee of the treatment center then informed her that she would not be admitted into their car because of her illness. By that time, Gibson had lost 20 pounds due to her anorexia and developed depression and anxiety.

As part of the settlement, Castlewood has agreed to a $140,000 with the United States Justice Department, $115,000 of which will go to Gibson and the rest to be paid in civil penalties. Castlewood also eventually agreed to take Gibson as a patient without pre-conditions, though Gibson is now being treated elsewhere.

Title III of the ADA prohibits entities from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability, specifically including individuals with HIV in its list of disabilities. Similarly, California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act outlaws discrimination by all business establishments in California because of age, ancestry, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

If you or anyone you know has been discriminated against because of disability, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.


One Comment

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  1. Monica Pignotti, PhD / Apr 27 2013 6:42 am

    Castlewood is also being sued for four others for malpractice. This could be a blessing in disguise, that this woman went elsewhere.

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