Sherwood v. Danbury Hospital

In Sherwood v. Danbury Hospital, 252 Conn. 193, 746 A.2d 730 (2000), the plaintiff argued that the defendant hospital breached a continuing duty to warn that tolled the statute of limitations. In 1985, the plaintiff received a blood transfusion from the defendant hospital during treatment for congenital scoliosis. Id. at 197. In 1994, she learned that she had contracted the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Id. at 198. In 1995, she learned that the 1985 blood transfusion was the source of her virus. Id. The Court concluded that the plaintiff in Sherwood could state a claim against the defendant hospital in July, 1996, under the continuing course of conduct doctrine. The defendant argued that the doctrine did not apply and that the plaintiff had only three years following her treatment in 1985 to bring an action related to that treatment. The Court concluded, however, that the plaintiff had demonstrated that the defendant owed her a duty that continued after the initial wrong she complained of and that she had demonstrated a factual basis on which a jury could find that the defendant continued to breach that duty. The Supreme Court noted that there was evidence that the defendant committed an initial wrong as to the plaintiff. A test for screening blood existed prior to the plaintiff's receiving the transfusion, the defendant's employees assumed that the blood given to the plaintiff had not been tested, and no one associated with the defendant hospital informed the plaintiff that the blood had not been tested and that it could have been. Id. at 206.