Passman & Kaplan successfully settled Brunotte v. Tangherlini, Acting Administrator, General Services Administration, Civil Action No. 08-0587. In this case, which had been pending in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, P&K alleged that employees of the General Services Administration and its Office of Inspector General committed violations of the Privacy Act in an apparent attempt to interfere with Ms. Brunotte starting a new job at the Government Printing Office. After successfully defeating GSA’s motion for summary judgment on two counts of Privacy Act, the GSA, acting though an Assistant U.S. Attorney, agreed to mediate the claims through the court’s mediation program. Under the settlement agreement, the government will pay $400,000 to Brunotte, plus an additional $185,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.
Brunotte was represented by Passman & Kaplan Founding Principal Joseph V. Kaplan and Senior Associate Andrew J. Perlmutter This case serves as a reminder that government agencies must be careful in protecting private information concerning individuals, even if the individuals are federal employees, and the Privacy Act can carry steep consequences when those restrictions are violated.