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Ashcraft v. King

278 Cal. Rptr. 900 (1991)

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Ashcraft v. King

California Court of Appeal

278 Cal. Rptr. 900 (1991)

Facts

Daisy Ashcraft (plaintiff) was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 16 years old. Ashcraft needed surgery to correct her condition. She and her mother consulted with an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. John King (defendant). King told them that Ashcraft would need a blood transfusion during the surgery. They discussed the possibility of using only “family blood” for the transfusion. Ashcraft’s parents and other relatives donated blood at the children’s hospital where she was scheduled to undergo surgery. During the surgery, Ashcraft received blood from the general supply of the children’s hospital, and did not receive any of the blood that had been donated by her family. Four years later, Ashcraft tested positive for HIV, which she had contracted from the blood that she had received from the children’s hospital during surgery. Ashcraft sued King for negligence and battery. Ashcraft argued that her consent to surgery had been conditioned on King using her family blood. At trial, Ashcraft and her mother testified that during their consultation with King, they told him that they wanted to use only family blood in the operation and that King had told them that was fine, then directed them to contact the hospital. King moved to dismiss the battery allegation. The trial court granted his motion. Only the negligence claim went before the jury, and the jury found in favor of King. Ashcraft appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

Concurrence (Lillie, J.)

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