By Shaun Murphy
Disclosing to others that someone has an STD can create two different causes of action, both of which are quite similar, but have differences that make a defendant liable for any harm caused.
The 2 Ways Disclosure Can Determine a Case
First, the way the defendant discloses the plaintiff’s status plays a part in determining the suit. If the details of the plaintiff’s private life are made public while the knowledge of their personal facts are of no public concern, the defendant can be liable for public disclosure of personal facts.
The second, invasion of privacy, occurs when the defendant intrudes on the plaintiff in an offensive way, leading to the disclosure of their STD status. Professionals, like our Palm Springs personal injury lawyer, can help you determine which one occurred.
Exceptions to Revealing a Status
Whether or not a plaintiff’s status is revealed is completely up to them. However, there are a few exceptions where the information will have to be shared with others, such as with medical providers who have direct contact with the plaintiff. Past sexual partners will also be notified on the plaintiff’s status for health reasons.
A major exception occurs when the plaintiff suffers from HIV. Disclosing a plaintiff’s HIV status is strictly prohibited, barring medical procedures and court cases. It is usually specifically addressed by statute in most states. Of course, if infection occurs due to malpractice, the provider can be found liable for exposing or transmitting an STD, and a malpractice suit can be filed. This suit can only be filed if the specifications meet malpractice criteria.