Originally created 01/09/98

AIDS patient settles with drug chain over alleged indiscretion

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. -- An AIDS patient who says his children found out about his illness because of an indiscreet pharmacy clerk reached an out-of-court settlement Thursday with the clerk and a drug store chain.

The terms of the settlement, announced on the fourth day of the trial, were not disclosed.

Stanley Grzadzinski and his wife, Kathy, had sued Arbor Drugs and pharmacy technician Dawn Castellano, accusing her of violating his confidentiality rights. The couple were seeking unspecified damages.

The couple claimed that Ms. Castellano told her 16-year-old son, Lorenzo, about Grzadzinski's illness, and that the boy began taunting the Grzadzinski children at school.

The Grzadzinskis said they had planned to keep his illness secret until he was on his deathbed so that their teen-age son and daughter wouldn't worry.

Grzadzinski, a 43-year-old equipment operator, was diagnosed with AIDS in 1993. The disease has gone into remission thanks to an array of new AIDS drugs, his wife said.

According to the lawsuit, Ms. Castellano realized Grzadzinski's prescriptions were for AIDS medicine.

Ms. Castellano denied telling her son, and the boy testified that he never said anything to the Grzadzinski children about their father having AIDS.

But a fellow student testified that he heard Lorenzo call Grzadzinski's 14-year-old daughter, Jamie, an "AIDS baby" 10 to 20 times.

Arbor Drugs has more than 200 stores, mostly in southeastern Michigan.


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