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Judge Denies Cal/OSHA’s Request in Porn Investigation

Judge Denies Cal/OSHA’s Request in Porn Investigation
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Jun 22, 2011 12:00 PM PDT    Text size: 

WASHINGTON — A Cal/OSHA investigation involving a porn performer has hit a roadblock after a judge denied the agency’s request to obtain identifying information of the performer’s production company.

The employee contracted HIV in 2009 in Los Angeles County and is only known as Patient Zero. Cal/OSHA subpoenaed the information from AIM Healthcare, which has since been shut down.

Patricia Ortiz, a Cal/OSHA spokesperson, told XBIZ that the division never sought the patient’s identifying information such as their name, personal medical records or HIV test results.

“Cal/OSHA’s goal is to identify the employer to address the HIV exposure,” Ortiz said.

She added that the agency remains concerned that employees in the adult industry continue to expose employees to sexually transmitted infections such as HIV as many employers don’t require the use of condoms.

But Alameda Superior Court Judge Winifred Y. Smith ruled that a patient’s privacy trumps the agency’s subpoena request, saying that Cal/OSHA offered no reason why it can’t prove a violation by looking into the records of film producers themselves.

 “Even if the government agency itself has a duty to maintain the confidentiality of the information, constitutional privacy may bar the agency form obtaining the information,” the judge said.

“Cal/OSHA has not demonstrated, by evidence or argument, a compelling need for the information sought in the subpoena. Nor has it demonstrated that its subpoena is narrowly tailored to minimize the intrusion on plaintiff’s privacy issues.”

Ortiz said the agency is considering whether to appeal the ruling.

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