The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given a San Francisco man another chance to pursue a case for damages against the government after information on his HIV status was shared among several federal agencies.

Noting that the 9th Circuit hadn’t previously determined the meaning of “actual damages” under the Privacy Act of 1974, Monday’s opinion held that people who suffer after federal agencies violate the act are entitled to relief even if their damages aren’t economic.

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