If you knew for sure that someone had given you genital herpes, would you sue them? One woman in Oregon did, and now she's won her case and is getting $900,000 for her pain and suffering. It all began when the 49-year-old woman met her 69-year-old date on eHarmony. They'd been out a few times and enjoyed each other's company, and then they had sex. She testified that she asked him to wear a condom and he agreed, but then suddenly he wasn't wearing a condom and "it was too late." As they lay together afterwards, he told her he had herpes. She got angry, understandably, and kicked him out of the house. Very shortly thereafter, she had a herpes outbreak and has since suffered from repeated painful outbreaks. She was prescribed anti-viral meds, but they caused her hair to partially fall out. She's also developed anxiety and depression. In other words, it's affected her life deeply.
For his part, the man, who is a retired dentist, swears he did not know he was contagious because he was not in the middle of an outbreak. Uh huh. He says that he didn't tell her about the herpes afterward because he felt guilty; he told her because "he liked her and wanted her to know there might be times when he had an outbreak and he would have to refrain from sex." Seriously, dude? If you really had her needs in mind, perhaps you should have told her BEFOREHAND and also worn the condom as you said you would.
The woman took the unusual step of filing a civil suit against the man. During the four-day trial, the dentist's attorney made the extremely classy argument that the woman was to blame since she failed to demand that he wear a condom because "everyone knows you're at risk for an STD." He also tried to argue that she was lying about her sexual history and could have gotten herpes from someone else. What a surprise! In the end, the jury found him 75 percent negligent and her 25 percent at fault. They awarded the woman, who is a dental hygienist, $900,000, and also found that he had committed battery because he intentionally harmed her—though he won't be prosecuted because the district attorney thinks they won't be able to prove anything "beyond a reasonable doubt." At least she's gotten some form of justice, and let's hope he's learned his lesson and will be informing future sexual partners of his condition well in advance.
Herpes verdict in Portland: Woman wins $900,000 after getting disease from date [OregonLive]