This Note focuses upon the unique circumstances surrounding false-positive plaintiffs' claims. Part II examines the recent surge of litigation resulting from false-positive test results. The discussion begins by analyzing HIV antibody testing and procedure and concludes by noting that negligent testing is the prevailing factor in faulty diagnosis. Part III explores negligent infliction of emotional distress as a cause of action for false-positive plaintiffs. This section begins by tracing the historical development of the law on negligent infliction of emotional distress. The discussion focuses on both the development and abandonment of the traditional limitations placed upon emotional distress recovery. Part III concludes by criticizing the overall inconsistent and disparate effects of the application of these traditional doctrines to claims involving a false-positive diagnosis. Part IV asserts that false-positive results necessarily entail genuine emotional distress claims: the devastating and stigmatizing circumstances surrounding HIV and AIDS guarantees that severe emotional distress will follow in the wake of a positive test result. Part V analogizes these plaintiffs' claims (based on false-positive HIV test results) to two special groups of cases that the courts have deemed as "arising from special circumstances, "and therefore exempt from the traditional barriers of emotional distress recovery. Recognizing the precise similarities shared by misdiagnosed plaintiffs' claims and those already excepted from the traditional doctrines, Part V concludes by proposing the abandonment of recovery limitations for false-positive plaintiffs in the HIV context.
Note, Negligent HIV Testing and False-Positive Plaintiffs: Pardoning the Traditional Prerequisites for Emotional Distress Recovery, 43 Clev. St. L. Rev. 655 (1995)