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Case v. Law: A Multi-State Survey Concerning Recognition of Medical Monitoring Claims

When plaintiffs allege a risk of future injury, some states allow claims for “medical monitoring,” or the cost of future medical care for the purpose of monitoring a yet-to-occur medical condition or injury. Another group of states has declared such independent medical monitoring claims as not actionable, while still others have no law on the subject or only a federal court’s “guess” as to state law on the subject, per the Erie doctrine.

The following states do not recognize medical monitoring claims:

Alabama: Houston County Health Care Authority v. Williams, 961 So.2d 795 (Ala. 2007).

Connecticut: Doe v. City of Stamford, 699 A.2d 52, 55 (Conn. 1997) (recognizing medical monitoring only in workers’ compensation context).

Kentucky: Wood v. Wyeth-Ayerst Labs, 82 S.W.3d 849 (Ky. 2002).

Louisiana: By statute: La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2315 (1998).

Michigan: Henry v. Dow Chemical Co., 701 N.W.2d 684 (Mich. 2005).

Minnesota: Bryson v. Pillsbury Co., 573 N.W.2d 718 (Minn. Ct. App. 1998).

Mississippi: Paz v. Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., 949 So.2d 1 (Miss. 2007).

Nevada: Badillo v. American Brands, Inc., 16 P.3d 435 (Nev. 2001).

North Carolina: Curl v. American Multimedia, Inc., 654 S.E.2d 76 (N.C. App. 2007).

Oregon: Lowe v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 183 P.3d 181 (Or. 2008).

States in which federal courts have made an Erie “guess” that the state will not recognize medical monitoring claims:

Georgia: Parker v. Brush Wellman, Inc., 377 F. Supp.2d 1290 (N.D. Ga. 2005), affirmed in part, 230 Fed. Appx. 878 (11th Cir. 2007).

Kansas: Burton v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 884 F. Supp. 1515 (D. Kan. 1995).

Nebraska: Schwan v. Cargill, Inc., 2007 WL 4570421 (D. Neb. 2007); Avila v. CNH America LLC, 2007 WL 2688613 (D. Neb. 2007).

North Dakota: Mehl v. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., 227 F.R.D. 505 (D.N.D. 2005).

Oklahoma: Cole v. ASARCO, Inc., 2009 WL 920581 (N.D. Okla. 2009).

South Carolina: Rosmer v. Pfizer, Inc., 2001 WL 34010613 (D.S.C. 2001).

Tennessee: Bostick v. St. Jude Medical, Inc., 2004 WL 3313614 (W.D. Tenn. 2004).

Texas: Norwood v. Raytheon Co., 414 F. Supp.2d 659 (W.D. Tex. 2006).

Virginia: Stead v. F.E. Myers Co., 785 F. Supp. 56 (D. Vt. 1990).

Washington: Duncan v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 203 F.R.D. 601 (W.D. Wash. 2001).

States recognizing medical monitoring claims:

Arizona: Burns v. Jaquays Mining Co., 752 P.2d 28 (Ariz. App. 1987).

California: Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 863 P.2d 795 (Cal. 1993).

Florida: Petito v. A.H. Robins Co., 750 So.2d 103 (Fla. App. 1999); Zehel-Miller v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP, 223 F.R.D. 659 (M.D. Fla. 2004) (recognizing medical monitoring, but not in strict liability context).

Missouri: Meyer v. Fluor Corp., 220 S.W.3d 712 (Mo. 2007).

New Jersey: Mauro v. Raymark Industries, Inc., 561 A.2d 257 (N.J. 1989) (recognizing medical monitoring); Sinclair v. Merck & Co., 948 A.2d 587 (N.J. 2008) (explaining that while recognized in environmental context, medical monitoring is not available in product liability actions).

Pennsylvania: Redland Soccer Club v. Department of the Army, 696 A.2d 137 (Pa. 1997) (recognizing medical monitoring in negligence but not in strict liability).

Utah: Hansen v. Mountain Fuel Supply Co., 858 P.2d 970 (Utah 1993).

West Virginia: In re West Virginia Rezulin Litigation, 585 S.E.2d 52 (W.Va. 2003).

States in which federal courts have made an Erie “guess” that the state will recognize medical monitoring claims:

Colorado: Cook v. Rockwell International Corp., 755 F. Supp. 1468 (D. Colo. 1991).

Ohio: Day v. NLO, Inc., 851 F. Supp. 869 (S.D. Ohio 1994).

Vermont: Stead v. F.E. Myers Co., 785 F. Supp. 56 (D. Vt. 1990).

States with conflicting authority on medical monitoring claims:

Delaware: Mergenthaler v. Asbestos Corp., 480 A.2d 647 (Del. 1984) (refusing medical monitoring in asbestos context); Hess v. A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, 2009 WL 595602 (E.D. Pa. 2009) (federal court allowing medical monitoring under Erie), cert. granted 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 77589 (E.D. Pa. 2009).

Illinois: Stella v. LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics USA, Inc., 564 F. Supp.2d 833 (N.D. Ill. 2008); See Jensen v. Bayer AG, 862 N.E.2d 1091, 1100-1101 (Ill. App. 2007) (lower state court case stating medical monitoring claims do not have sufficient merit).

Indiana: Johnson v. Abbott Laboratories, 2004 WL 3245947 (Ind. Cir. 2004) (not recognizing medical monitoring claims); Allgood v. General Motors Corp. 2005 WL 2218371 (S.D. Ind. 2005) (refusing to dismiss medical monitoring claims).

New York: Abusio v. Consolidated Edison Co., 656 N.Y.S.2d 371 (N.Y. A.D. 1997) (not allowing medical monitoring); Allen v. General Electric Co., 821 N.Y.S.2d 692 (N.Y. A.D. 2006) (allowing medical monitoring).

States yet to address the issue:

Alaska

Arkansas

Hawaii

Idaho

Iowa

Maine

Maryland: Philip Morris Inc. v. Angeletti, 752 A.2d 200 (Md. 2000) (considering

the issue but expressly leaving the issue of medical monitoring to the legislature).

Massachusetts

Montana

New Hampshire

New Mexico

Rhode Island

South Dakota

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Finis