BSP member Michael Williams, working with attorney Bob Tyler, secured a key reversal from the Sixth Circuit on behalf of an injured plaintiff. The case is now expected to proceed to trial.
The plaintiff, a young college student, suffered a serious head injury when she fell from a swivel chair while preparing to donate plasma. The Eastern District of Michigan had granted summary judgment, finding that the plaintiff had not shown that the plasma center had breached any duty owed. In reversing, the Sixth Circuit explained that the plaintiff could prove at trial that the center breached its duty of care by failing to ask for a medical history and failing to place the plaintiff in a safe chair before performing a blood draw. The Sixth Circuit also rejected several other alternative grounds offered by the plasma center along the way.
BSP represented the injured plaintiff only on appeal. The decision provides an important explication of the standard of care for plasma centers and new insights into Michigan negligence law generally.