By Shaun Murphy
Can You Sue over Transmission of a Sexual Disease?
In today’s society, you shouldn’t underestimate an ex-lover who has an STD and a powerful attorney. As Palm Springs personal injury lawyers, we have often been asked if someone can sue an ex for passing a STD.
To answer that question is difficult, because the answer is both yes and no. The number of STD diseases has grown immensely and because of this, more and more people are filing lawsuits. While it sounds like a good idea, these types of cases can be difficult to litigate. They are expensive to pursue and often result in little remedy. It is nearly impossible to prove who transmitted the STD and the burden of proof comes down to the ability to prove negligence. Also, it must be taken into consideration that views on sexuality are diverse and vary by state. All these factors can make this type of case complex.
Criminal Prosecution and HIV
The numbers of those affected with HIV and the AIDS virus continues to rise. With this influx come other issues regarding disclosure. Most states feel that failure to disclose HIV/AIDS to a sexual partner is grounds for a criminal prosecution or even a civil suit.
Some states, like California, passed the “willful exposure” law. This means that if an infected person exposes another person without telling them, it is a felony. If a person is convicted, they can do time in prison, up to eight years in fact.
This law only applies to those who have intended to infect someone. The party must know that they are HIV positive and choose not to disclose it. The sex must be unprotected and occur vaginally or anally. Oral sex is excluded from this law. Handling a case like this requires a Palm Springs personal injury law firm that is well versed in the laws surrounding this issue.
Civil Prosecution and HIV
A Palm Springs personal injury attorney will bring this type of case under tort law, which includes intentional infliction of emotion distress. It can also include fraud and battery. Lawsuits of this nature will continue to be filed, especially, when serious STDs, like AIDS are being transmitted. While there are some limitations on filing a case of this nature, if one can prove there is negligence or fraud, the tort law can be used. As these diseases continue to proliferate, the court systems may find that they are dealing with more and more of these types of cases due to angry victims.
Contact our Palm Springs personal injury attorneys by calling 760-322-2275 for a consultation.