Couture v. Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Center

Racial Justice
Case No. No. 04-1397, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
ACLU Case No. 2004-09


John Couture was hired as a phlebotomist by the Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Center. During training, he disclosed that he was HIV positive, and he was then informed that he could not be a phlebotomist. He sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The district court dismissed his action, and he appealed.

The ACLU of Colorado, along with the ACLU Gay and Lesbian Rights Project and other organizations, filed an amicus brief in support of Couture. The ACLU brief argues that the “direct threat” defense under the ADA is not available to the defendant. Reviewing contemporary medical and scientific evidence, the brief explains that a person with HIV can safety perform the duties of a phlebotomist.


Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director

Return to Search Menu