MARYLANDS HIGHEST COURT TO DECIDE WHETHER WOMAN, WHO CONTRACTED AIDS FROM HER LAB TECHNICIAN HUSBAND, CAN SUE HIS EMPLOYER FOR FAILING TO WARN HIM THAT HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH THE HIV-2 VIRUS IN 1989Jun 14, 2005 | www.Newsinferno.com
In 1989, a male laboratory technician worked for Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. (now part of Pfizer) handling HIV-1 and the rarer HIV-2. That year, he received a false positive test result for HIV-1.
Such a finding, according to the wifeâ€™s attorney, should have alerted Pharmacia to the possibility that the technician had HIV-2 and caused them to advise him of the potential problem.
Eventually the husband developed AIDS and passed it to his wife. He is now dying. The wifeâ€™s lawsuit was dismissed in federal court and an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit was in abeyance until that Court could have Marylandâ€™s highest state court decide how far an employerâ€™s duty extends under Maryland law. That appeal was argued on Monday.
The company argued that it should not be held accountable to strangers and other third-parties who are not its employees or its consumers simply because they might become sexually involved with the employee. The wifeâ€™s attorney argued that the companyâ€™s position defies common sense when it comes to protecting a wife. A decision on the appeal may take several days or weeks.