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Osborn v. Irwin Memorial Blood Bank

California Court of Appeal
7 Cal. Rptr. 2d 101 (1992)


Facts

In 1983, at the age of three weeks, Michael Osborn (plaintiff) contracted the AIDS virus from a blood transfusion during a surgical procedure performed at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center (Medical Center) (defendant). The blood for the transfusion was supplied by the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank (Irwin) (defendant). Michael’s parents, Paul and Mary (plaintiffs) filed suit against the Medical Center and Irwin for damages on various theories. The trial court granted the Medical Center’s motion to dismiss the claims against it. At trial against the remaining defendant, Irwin, experts on behalf of the Osborns testified that Irwin’s blood testing and donor screening practices prior to Michael’s surgery were negligent given the concerns nationwide about AIDS at the time and because Irwin did not perform anti-HBc tests on its donors. Conversely, experts testifying on behalf of Irwin noted that Irwin’s blood testing and donor screening practices at the time were consistent with those of other blood banks across the country. The jury held for the Osborns. Thereafter, the trial court granted Irwin’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issue of negligence. The Osborns appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Perley, A.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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