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Sacramona v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
152 F.R.D. 428 (D. Mass. 1993)


Facts

Robert J. Sacramona (plaintiff) was hurt when the tire he was mounting exploded. Sacramona sued Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. (Bridgestone) (defendant), the tire manufacturer, and The Budd Company (Budd) (defendant), the rim manufacturer, for damages related to his personal injuries, including future loss of income, medical costs, and disability. Sacramona had been an intravenous drug user, who shared needles and engaged in unprotected homosexual sex, activities that increase the risk that a person will acquire Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Sacramona refused to allow his doctor to perform an HIV test. During discovery, Budd moved the court to compel Sacramona to take an HIV test. Bridgestone then offered a memorandum in support of Budd’s motion. Both defendants argued that the results of the HIV test were essential to Sacramona’s claim for future damages, because Sacramona’s life expectancy would be significantly impacted by his HIV status. Thus, the defendants argued that if Sacramona would not submit to the test, the court should forbid him from seeking future damages. Sacramona objected to the motion on statutory and constitutional grounds, claiming that a court order requiring him to submit to the test would violate his right to privacy and result in “unjust oppression, embarrassment and annoyance.”

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bowler, J.)

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