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Howe v. Hull

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
874 F.Supp. 779 (1994)


Facts

Charon, an HIV-positive, took a prescription antibiotic drug and within two hours began experiencing fever, headache, nausea and other symptoms. Charon and Howe, his companion, went to the Fremont Memorial Hospital (Fremont) (defendant) emergency room and Dr. Reardon examined Charon. Reardon believed Charon suffered from Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), a very serious and often lethal skin condition. Fremont protocol required that Charon’s admission be approved to the on-call physician, Dr. Hull (defendant). Reardon telephoned Hull and informed him that he wanted to admit Charon who was HIV-positive and had a non-AIDS related severe drug reaction. The focus of their conversation, however, centered on whether Charon’s HIV had progressed to AIDS. Hull did not inquire about Charon’s physical condition, his vital signs, or the particulars of Reardon’s TEN diagnosis. Hull said “if you get an AIDS patient in the hospital, you will never get him out,” and told Reardon to transfer Charon to the “AIDS program” at the Medical College of Ohio (MCO). Prior to Charon’s transfer to MCO, Hull made no attempt to examine or see him. Charon was admitted to MCO and treated, but not based on a TEN diagnosis. Howe (plaintiff), as Charon’s representative, brought suit against Hull, Fremont, and others alleging their conduct and actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (FRA). Hull moved for summary judgment dismissing the suit.

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Holding and Reasoning (Potter, J.)

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