In Florida, the question of whether personal injury cases resulting from diseases contracted from blood transfusions are considered “medical malpractice” claims is being considered by Florida’s Supreme Court. Our Jacksonville injury law firm has investigated similar cases, includinig the transmission of hepatitis c from a blood transfusion.
The case before Florida’s Supreme Court involved a boy who contracted West Nile Virus and died as a result of a blood transfusion. After a jury trial, the parents of the boy received a large verdict. However, the appeals court reversed the verdict because the parents did not comply with the statutory presuit requirements for medical malpractice claims.
The attorneys for the parents argued that the boy did not receive any medical care from the blood bank that supplied the infected blood, and, thus, argued that the Florida statutes regarding medical malpractice claims did not apply. In contrast, the blood bank relied on the statute’s definition of medical provider which expressly includes blood banks. The plaintiff’s attorney responded by arguing that, while at times blood banks do provide medical care, in situations where they do not, they are not to be considered medical providers subject to the statutes.
A decision is expected in the Spring of 2009.