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Brzoska v. Olson

Delaware Supreme Court
668 A.2d 1355 (1995)


Facts

Dr. Raymond Owens, a dentist, died of AIDS. Before he died, Dr. Owens was exhibiting open lesions, weakness, and memory loss. Several of Dr. Owens’ former patients (plaintiffs) sued Dr. Owens’ estate (defendant) for battery, arguing that Dr. Owens’ performance of dental procedures on them was offensive because he was HIV-positive, and that when they learned of his illness after their treatment it caused them mental anguish. The patients claimed that Dr. Owens cut himself at least once while working on a patient. None of the patients tested positive for HIV. The Superior Court granted summary judgment in favor of Dr. Owens’ estate, and the patients appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Walsh, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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