Woman Has Affair, Sues Lover For Giving Her Herpes

A Wisconsin woman is suing a man for $350,000 for giving her herpes. She hopes to get a payout from his homeowner and auto insurance. They were both married to other people at the time, but spent a day having an affair in Madison, the suit said.

The woman has said this man and her husband were her only sexual partners. Also, this sounds awkward:

During a February 2011 telephone conversation, the man told the woman's husband that he does not take medications to treat his herpes, according to the lawsuit. Medications could potentially have lowered the risk of transmitting the disease.

Throughout the 1980s, several high profile herpes-related lawsuits were filed, including against celebrities like Robin Williams and Tony Bennett. HIV raised the stakes, and in 27 states it's illegal to knowingly infect your partner with the virus without their knowledge.

Civil cases involving STDs have historically been difficult to litigate, because the plaintiff has to prove which partner infected them, and that it was done knowingly, even though symptoms can be dormant, especially in men. Insurance companies tend to exempt for "intentional torts," avoiding payouts in cases in which someone knowingly harms another. And when a case goes to court, attitudes about sex and morality can come into play — particularly if infidelity is involved.

Suit Accuses Edgerton Man Of Spreading Herpes [Gazette Extra]