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Story of the Day: Desi and Ellie Foxx Suing AIM- Complete Details

A more common malady- when you don’t do well in porn you turn against it…

Los Angeles – from www.myfoxla.com – Two former porn actresses said today they will sue the San Fernando Valley clinic that tests adult movie performers for AIDS, and alerts movie companies to actors with positive HIV tests.

Lead plaintiffs Diana Grandmason and Bess Garren [aka Desi and Ellie Foxx] said the practices of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation violate federal and state laws that protect the privacy of medical records.

The actresses and other porn performers are part of a move to require adult film producers to mandate the use of condoms when videotaping sex acts that result in the transmission of body fluids. The movement is being pushed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a Hollywood group that has been given the services of two lawyers working for free.

To counter that campaign, producers have set up an AIDS testing clinic to make sure their employees are not carrying HIV or suffering from AIDS or other venereal diseases.

No one at the producers’ foundation’s office in Sherman Oaks was available for comment Sunday. But producers have in the past argued that the large-but-below-ground porn industry headquartered in the San Fernando Valley will dissolve — with video production going to other states or overseas — if condoms are required in videos.

The central medical data clearinghouse is the subject of the lawsuit, which will be filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Grandmason said.

The data center “violates the privacy rights of performers in the adult film industry by allowing the producers of adult films online access to workers’ health care information without the individual consents and releases required by federal and California law,” she said in a news statement issued today.

The suit will also assert that the industry’s health foundation “jeopardizes the health and well-being of performers in the adult film industry by discouraging the use of condoms and other safer-sex practices known to prevent and dramatically reduce the spread” of sexually-transmitted diseases, according to Grandmason.

According to the news announcement, the suit will claim of unfair and deceptive business practices, violations of civil code and unlawful public disclosure of private health information. The lawsuit will also seek class action status to include current and former adult film actors.

Grandmason said she that in order to work, she was required to pay for disease tests and “had to sign sweeping release-of-information forms and pay AIM for this testing. AIM then made our medical test results available online to adult film producers and anyone else with a user name and password for AIM’s database — something we understand is illegal under state and federal law.”

Here is the original press release that went out:

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Two former actresses in the adult film industry, including Diana Grandmason, are filing a California lawsuit against Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM), a Los Angeles area HIV testing clinic funded by and serving the adult film industry, alleging privacy breaches of their protected patient health data.

“We are grateful for the support of AHF in our efforts and for the pro bono legal work being done on our behalf”

WHAT:

Press Conference and Teleconference:
Former Adult Film Stars Sue Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM) Testing Clinic Over Privacy Breaches of Patient Health Data, Deceptive Business Practices

WHEN: MONDAY, June 28th 2010—11:00 AM Pacific

WHERE: AHF Headquarters, 6255 W. Sunset Blvd. (at Argyle) 21st FLOOR Los Angeles, CA 90028

Teleconference Dial in information: +1.877.411.9748 participant code #7931503

WHO: Diana Grandmason, former adult film actress, AIM lawsuit plaintiff (in person in Los Angeles)

Brian Chase, Pro Bono Attorney & Assistant General Counsel, AHF

Tom Myers, Pro Bono Attorney & Chief of Public Affairs for AHF (via teleconference)

Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President

CONTACT: Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Director (323) 791-5526 cell (323) 308-1833 office

The lawsuit, which will be filed in Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, on Monday June 28th (Case # TBA), includes claims of unfair and deceptive business practices, violations of civil code and unlawful public disclosure of private health information.

The lawsuit also seeks class action status to include claims by other current and former adult film actors whose health information may have also routinely—and illegally—been released by AIM to film producers working in the adult industry. The lawsuit is being supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which has separately been championing safety reforms in the adult film industry including efforts to require the use of condoms in all adult film productions. Tom Myers and Brian Chase, two AHF attorneys working pro bono to represent the two former adult stars prepared the lawsuit and arranged its filing.

The lawsuit, alleges, “AIM violates the privacy rights of performers in the adult film industry by allowing the producers of adult films online access to workers’ health care information without the individual consents and releases required by federal and California law. AIM knowingly and intentionally provides this private information to producers of adult films in order to facilitate the production of adult films.”

The legal action also asserts, “AIM further jeopardizes the health and well-being of performers in the adult film industry by discouraging the use of condoms and other safer-sex practices known to prevent and dramatically reduce the spread of STDs,” and “The actions of AIM violate Grandmason’s and Garren’s rights to privacy, the rights of individuals similarly situated to Plaintiffs, and further constitute an unfair and deceptive trade practice under California law.”

“While working in California’s adult film industry, both Bess and I were repeatedly tested for sexually transmitted diseases at AIM’s clinic,’ said lead Plaintiff Diana Grandmason.

“I was tested for HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea at AIM on nine occasions in 2008 and 2009, while Bess was tested for the same diseases on ten occasions in 2008 and 2009. We each had to sign sweeping release-of-information forms and pay AIM for this testing. AIM then made our medical test results available online to adult film producers and anyone else with a user name and password for AIM’s database—something we understand is illegal under state and federal law. And despite the fact that we have each been out of the industry for more than a year, it is our understanding that our private health data still remains freely—and illegally—available online at AIM’s database. With this lawsuit, we hope to stop AIM from violating our and other patients’ legal rights.”

“In exchange for its monopoly position as the sole provider of sexually transmitted disease testing within the adult film industry, AIM provides the producers of adult films with unfettered online access to confidential health records of AIM’s patients, and publicly defends the adult film industry’s refusal to adequately protect performers from the spread of STDs,” said Brian Chase, one of the pro bono attorneys working on the case.

“AIM also steadfastly opposes any efforts to require the use of condoms in the production of adult films, wrongly insisting that its monthly testing for a limited number of STDs is sufficient protection for performers. We believe that AIM is in clear violation of federal and state law, and that its actions and ongoing business practices repeatedly place thousands of people like Ms. Grandmason and Ms. Garren at risk of disease and death.”

Grandmason and Garren’s lawsuit asserts that they, and an untold other number of current and former AIM clients who sought—and paid for—STD and HIV testing services at AIM’s clinic in order to work in the adult film industry, had their civil and health privacy rights violated. The lawsuit alleges three causes of action including:

* First Cause Action: “AIM’s disclosure of medical information regarding the Plaintiff’s and the Class constitutes a violation of Civil Code §§ 56 et seq.”

* Second Cause Action: “…AIM has disclosed Plaintiffs’ sexually transmitted disease test results, in violation of state and federal law,” and

* Third Cause Action: (in three distinct areas)
o AIM’s ongoing disclosure of sensitive medical information constitutes an unfair, fraudulent and deceptive trade practice under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200.
o AIM’s requirement that adult film performers sign the AIM Release, illegally authorizing the dissemination of private medical information and purporting to indemnify AIM for any damages caused by the release of that data, constitutes an unfair, fraudulent and deceptive trade practice under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200.
o AIM’s collusion with the producers of adult films to create a monopoly in the provision of sexually transmitted disease testing for performers constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200.

“We are grateful for the support of AHF in our efforts and for the pro bono legal work being done on our behalf,” added Grandmason. “We also ask the court to seriously consider certifying this case as a class action on behalf of all those people whose health and privacy rights may have been repeatedly violated by AIM’s deceptive and illegal practices.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest global AIDS organization. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 137,000 individuals in 23 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. www.aidshealth.org

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