Mississippi College Law Review

Publication Date

Spring 2024


The experience of undergoing a surgical procedure is one of the most vulnerable positions an average individual finds themselves in during his or her lifetime. The overall risk associated with this process is even greater when the surgery involves the removal or transfer of one or more of the body's organs or tissues. The principal event that concerned Palermo v. LifeLink Found., Inc. was a botched surgical operation featuring a human tissue implant performed in March 2005 on Richard Palermo. The tissue implant surgically inserted into Palermo's knee became bacterially infected shortly after the operation and required further injury, causing him significant injury. Palermo and his wife sued the provider of the human tissue, LifeLink Foundation, Inc., under theories of negligence and strict products liability in Hinds County Circuit Court. Both claims were originally dismissed via summary judgment in favor of LifeLink, and the Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision. The Supreme Court of Mississippi granted certiorari to examine whether Palermo could proceed under a claim of products liability regarding the defective tissue implant. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals and ruled that Mississippi's "blood shield" statute prohibits products liability actions concerning human organs or tissues, under the Mississippi Products Liability Act. The Court's decision in this issue of first impression is noteworthy, as the Court determined that the provisions of two formerly unrelated statutes combined to bar an entire class of plaintiffs from pursuing claims under the theory of products liability.

In this Note, I argue that the Supreme Court of Mississippi invalidly linked the Mississippi Products Liability Act with Mississippi's blood shield statute when it ruled that the Palermos' products liability claims were barred by the net effects of the statutes.



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