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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

James E. Hawkins and Ellen Hawkins f/n/a Ellen Shaw, his wife, Appellants, v. George R. Pizzaro, M.D., Appellee.

Headnote

Should doctors be liable to a third party if their failure to warn a patient about their disease leads to harm? A doctor screens the plaintiff for hepatitis C, and erroneously tells her that the results were negative. While unaware of her infection, plaintiff marries and unknowingly transmits the virus to her husband. At no time was the doctor ever aware of the plaintiff’s (eventual) husband. Plaintiff argued that had she been informed of her disease, she and her husband could have taken steps to prevent its transmission.