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Orlak v. Loyola University Health System

Illinois Supreme Court
885 N.E.2d 999 (2007)


Diane Orlak (plaintiff) suffered burns in a work-related accident in 1989 and was hospitalized at a facility operated by the Loyola University Health System (defendant). Orlak was given a blood transfusion during her treatment. Orlak’s mother signed a consent form on her behalf that acknowledged that there was no definitive test to determine whether viral hepatitis existed in the blood. Orlak recovered from her injuries and was released. In 1990, Loyola advised Orlak to be tested for HIV. Orlak did, and the test was negative for HIV. However, in 2000, Loyola sent another letter advising Orlak to be tested for hepatitis C (HCV) because her blood donor had recently tested positive for the virus. Orlak was tested, and the test was positive for HCV. Orlak sued Loyola, alleging medical negligence, medical battery, and constructive fraud for not advising Orlak to be tested sooner. Orlak alleged that the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Health had published recommendations in the late 1990s that individuals who had received blood transfusions in the early 1990s be tested for HCV. Loyola filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Orlak’s claims were barred by the four-year statute of repose for actions arising out of patient care. The trial court granted the motion, and the court of appeals affirmed. Orlak petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Garman, J.)

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