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Palermo v. LifeLink Foundation Inc.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi
152 So.3d 1177 (2014)


Facts

Richard Palermo (plaintiff) had surgery to repair a ligament in his knee using a grafted human tendon supplied by LifeLink Foundation, Inc. (defendant). His knee showed signs of infection, and his surgeon opened it back up and removed the graft. Tests on the grafted tissue showed no bacteria before or after surgery. Palermo sued, asserting claims against LifeLink for strict products liability and negligence under Mississippi law. LifeLink moved for summary judgment, and its expert testified that LifeLink followed FDA and other applicable regulations and guidelines for testing, packaging, and shipping human tissue when it handled the graft, such as keeping it below freezing temperatures and shipping it out quickly. Palermo presented no competent evidence showing otherwise. Instead, Palermo’s expert said that LifeLink was a good company that complied with FDA regulations. The trial court granted summary judgment for LifeLink, reasoning that Mississippi’s “blood shield” law prohibited the strict-liability claims, and that Palermo could not show duty or breach to support his negligence claims.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fair, J)

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