Man Sues LifeSouth After Receiving HIV-Positive Blood

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A Montgomery law firm is suing LifeSouth Community Blood Centers on behalf of a man who received HIV-positive blood.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. is representing Howard Midkiff, and claims he received blood infected with HIV during a heart bypass surgery.  Midkiff now has HIV and will have to take medication and treatment for the rest of his life.

“It is tragic and unforgivable – particularly in light of today’s medical testing capabilities – that a man could undergo heart surgery and survive the risks associated with such a complex surgery, only to learn months later that he contracted HIV from a tainted blood transfusion he received during surgery,” said Beasley Allen lawyer Mike Andrews, who is representing Mr. Midkiff and his wife, Dorothy. “A tainted blood supply puts everyone at risk.”

The lawsuit alleges the blood contaminated with HIV was collected by LifeSouth in Dale County, Ala., from “John Doe” on October 14, 2010. Mr. Midkiff was admitted to Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery, Ala., on October 18, 2010 for coronary bypass grafting. During his surgery, Mr. Midkiff received a transfusion of blood and blood components provided by LifeSouth. In May 2011, LifeSouth discovered the distributed blood products tested positive for HIV and notified Baptist Medical Center. After blood testing in June 2011, Mr. Midkiff was diagnosed as being HIV-positive.

The lawsuit claims LifeSouth negligently provided blood infected with HIV, and negligently designed and/or failed to implement reasonable screening, handling and testing procedures that could have prevented the dissemination of blood contaminated with HIV.

— Information provided by law firm