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Union Settles AIDS Discrimination Lawsuit

December 22, 1993

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ In the months before he died of AIDS, Mark Kadinger’s bills piled up because his health care plan covered only $50,000 worth of care.

″It really was a terrible burden,″ Kadinger’s doctor, Frank Rhame, said Tuesday. ″His last three or four months in life were made much more uncomfortable.″

Now, 13 months after the construction worker’s death at age 34, the union that limited his health insurance because he had AIDS has agreed to pay $100,000 to his estate and the hospital where he was treated.

The settlement was announced Tuesday.

Kadinger’s estate and the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic had sued Local 110 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, claiming its health care plan violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act because it limited coverage to $50,000 for AIDS patients but paid up to $500,000 for patients with other illnesses.

The 1992 anti-discrimination law says employers with self-insured health plans cannot cap AIDS benefits.

Bruce Campbell, the union’s business manager, called the settlement an ″equitable move.″

″It’s not something that will help Mark, but it will help others covered by the plan,″ said Keith Halleland, the lawyer for Kadinger’s estate and the hospital. ″Other plans should take a good, hard look at whether they have AIDS caps and if they should change them.″

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