Osborn v. Irwin Memorial Blood Bank Case Brief

Summary of Osborn v. Irwin Memorial Blood Bank (1992) Pg. 405, 7 Cal. Rptr. 2d 101 (Ct. App. Cal. 1992)

Parties: Appellant – Plaintiff – Osborn

Appellee – Defendant – Blood Bank

Court: California Court of Appeals, 1992

Facts: 3 week year-old, Michael Osborn contracted AIDS from blood transfusion during his heart surgery. It came from the Blood Bank. Irwin Blood Bank did more in areas of testing and screening of blood their blood supply than any other blood bank in the country.

Procedural Posture: TC – Granted Irwin Blood Bank summary judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issue of negligence.

Issue: Should the Blood Bank be held to a professional standard of care in insuring the blood supply does not contain the AIDS virus?

Judgment: Affirmed TC’s decision saying Irwin Blood Bank was not negligent for failing to perform specific tests for AIDS.

Holding: Held that a Blood Bank’s actions to prevent the contamination of blood are questions of professional negligence and fulfillment of a professional standard of care. In cases involving experts to prove negligence of professional activity, the experts’ testimony sets the standard of care and is conclusive.

Relevant Rule: Professional prudence (professional standard of care) is defined by actual or accepted practice within a profession, rather that theories about what “should" have been done.

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