American Journal of Law & Medicine

AIDS & HIV: evidence of actual exposure - Majca v. Beekil.

AIDS & HIV: Evidence of Actual Exposure--Majca v. Beekil(1)--The Supreme Court of Illinois held that plaintiffs bringing tort claims for damages resulting from the fear of contracting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) must produce evidence of actual exposure to the disease in order to survive a defendant's motion for summary judgment. Consolidating two cases, the court joined the majority of jurisdictions "requir[ing] actual exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in order to state a claim for fear of contracting AIDS."(2)

In one case, the plaintiff, Eileen Majca, a physician's office assistant, cut her hand on a scalpel placed in a trash bin. The only physician to use that trash bin later died of an AIDS-related illness. Although the scalpel did have dried blood and mucus on it, there was no evidence that these bodily fluids were HIV-contaminated. …

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