Hawkins v. Pizarro

713 So. 2d 1036 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998).

One-Sentence Takeaway: A physician who negligently advised a patient that she had tested negative for Hepatitis C months before the patient met and married her husband owed no duty to the husband because his existence was unknown at the time of the alleged negligent advice.

Summary: A physician negligently advised his patient that her results came back negative for Hep C.  Months after that diagnosis, the patient met her husband and they married.  It was later discovered that patient was positive for Hep C at the time the physician advised her she was not.  The husband was also diagnosed with Hep C.

Both the patient and the husband sued the physician.  The court dismissed the husband’s claim reasoning that the physician did not owe the husband a duty of care at the time the negligent advice was provided because the patient had not yet met him.  The husband was unknown to the physician at time of misreading of the test results and was not an identified third party to whom physician could be said to owe a duty of care.

Compare with Pate v. Threlkel.

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