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HIV-Positive Worker Loses Award

July 29, 1999

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ A federal appeals court has overturned a jury’s award of $382,000 to a man who sued his employers on the grounds that he was discriminated against because he is HIV-positive.

Roger P. Kwiatek Jr., who worked in the support services office at the West Palm Beach branch of AT&T Wireless, said he was reprimanded and harassed soon after telling his bosses in 1993 that he has the virus that causes AIDS.

In December 1997, a jury decided he should receive $1.3 million. Circuit Judge Kenneth A. Marra then reduced the award to $382,000.

On Wednesday, the 4th District Court of Appeal ruled that the case should never have gotten to the jury and that Marra should have ruled Kwiatek never proved his case.

Kwiatek, 40, had no comment. His attorney, Scott Warfman, said he is considering an appeal to the state supreme court.

Steven M. Katzman, an attorney for AT&T Wireless said that while the company is sympathetic to Kwiatek, ``there is nothing AT&T Wireless did which is even remotely discriminatory.″

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