Jury awards $4M to couple after husband given HIV tainted blood - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Jury awards $4M to couple after husband given HIV tainted blood during surgery

(Source: RNN) (Source: RNN)

A jury awarded an Alabama couple $4 million on Sept. 2 as a result of a lawsuit filed against LifeSouth Community Blood Center, after the husband received HIV-tainted blood during open heart surgery at Baptist Medical Center in 2010.

Howard Midkiff was awarded $3 million, and his wife Dorothy, who was also listed as a plaintiff, was awarded $1 million. 

According to court documents, the blood contaminated with HIV was collected by LifeSouth in Dale County, Ala., from "John Doe" on October 14, 2010. Four days later, Midkiff was admitted to Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery where he received a coronary bypass grafting in which blood from LifeSouth was alleged to have been used.

Beasley Allen, the lawfirm representing Midkiff, says LifeSouth discovered in May 2011 that the distributed blood products tested positive for HIV and notified Baptist Medical Center. After blood testing in June 2011, Midkiff was diagnosed as being HIV-positive. 

The lawsuit claimed LifeSouth, a Gainsville, Florida based company, negligently provided blood infected with HIV, and negligently designed and/or failed to implement reasonable screening, handling and testing procedures that could have prevented the dissemination of blood contaminated with HIV.

LifeSouth operates 61 blood centers across Alabama.

A spokeswoman for the Baptist Health hospital system where the transfusion was given told the Associated Press that Midkiff is the only one believed to have been given blood from the donor in question. She says they have never experienced a case like this before and don't expect to in the future.

Copyright 2012  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed.

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