Gill v. American Red Cross
Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a, which requires that medical-malpractice plaintiffs file a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider, applies to a plaintiff who alleges that the American Red Cross failed to conduct tests and to provide warnings to an individual who donated blood. On Feb. 9, 2010, the plaintiff's 70-year-old decedent, Frank Gill, allegedly was not well-hydrated and collapsed, soon after he donated blood in Danielson, Connecticut. On February 14, Gill passed away, as a result of cardiac arrest, ventricular fibrillation and brain injury. Gill's wife, as the executrix of his estate, sued the American Red Cross, alleging wrongful death, in violation of Connecticut General Statutes §52-555, and loss of consortium. Gill's complaint alleged that the American Red Cross failed to warn the plaintiff's decedent about the risks and dangers of donating blood, and to take his pulse, temperature and blood pressure. The American Red Cross moved to dismiss and argued that the plaintiff's complaint alleged medical malpractice and that the plaintiff failed to provide a written opinion from a similar healthcare provider, pursuant to C.G.S. §52-190a(a). The plaintiff objected that the plaintiff's complaint alleged ordinary negligence, as opposed to medical malpractice. The court agreed with the American Red Cross. "Although Mr. Gill's purpose in donating blood was altruistic and not to obtain treatment or diagnosis in a traditional sense," wrote the court, "the alleged failures of care are for medical negligence in assessing and monitoring his medical condition." The plaintiff's complaint did not allege ordinary negligence. The plaintiff was required to obtain a written medical opinion from a similar healthcare provider, and the court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss.