What You Should Know About Suing For Wrongful Transmission Of Stds

If you found out you have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you may be able to sue the person who infected you. You feel angry and hurt that they would do this to you. Many people don't disclose their disease because of embarrassment and stigmatizing associated with STDs, but hiding it could come back to legally haunt them. Here is some information that will help you file a suit against the person that infected you.


Regardless of state laws, you may be able to bring a case under negligence. For negligence cases, you have to prove your partner had a duty of care to reveal their illness. However, you can only bring charges when they intentionally didn't tell you, and not for an STD they didn't know they had at the time. The prosecutor would have to prove the defendant acted recklessly, exposing you to the danger, and convince a jury that a reasonable person with the same condition or disease would abstain from sexual activity.

Civil Battery

You could also sue your partner under a civil battery, in which you claim that since your partner didn't disclose their disease, it equals non-consensual sexual activity. A civil battery falls under intentional tort laws meaning the person intends harm, even if they used protection, whereas negligence law does not consider intent.

Keep in mind that civil battery will only take into account incurable conditions or diseases like genital warts, herpes, and HIV. The potential to recover significant damages is lower in treatable diseases such as gonorrhea and syphilis. The cost of legal fees to pursue a case for a treatable condition or disease would seldom be worth it.

Criminal Prosecution

The rise of AIDS/HIV and its life-threatening nature prompted many states to make wrongful transmission a criminal offense. In some states, the defendant may be charged with attempted murder. California has willful exposure laws, which means a person who knowingly exposes someone to HIV/AIDS through sexual activity, even if the plaintiff hasn't been infected. In Florida, a person with HIV/AIDS who commits a crime, gets hit with an additional charge under criminal transmission of HIV.

However, there are gray areas under criminal law. Similar to negligence cases, the person has to know they had an STD to be charged. Sometimes, the symptoms may not show for several years. Another gray area is a mentally disturbed individual who willfully spreads the disease. Though criminal prosecution can be brought as evidence of liability, you may not be entitled to monetary damages.

You deserve justice for being exposed to an STD or getting infected. If you think you have a wrongful STD transmission case, hire a personal injury attorney. Read more here.

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Fascinating Legal Problems

There’s a reason why there are so many legal procedural shows on television these days. The law can be an intriguing thing. Going to court isn’t usually something that you look forward to, but having the court system available is definitely a positive thing. You never know when you may need to use it for one reason or another. I’ve found, as a legal professor, that taking a look at interesting cases in different areas of the law is the best way to help my students understand their subject. I’m hoping this blog will give you an idea of how the court system can work for you by giving you at glimpse at some fascinating cases and the laws behind them.