You may be able to file a civil lawsuit against your sexual partner if you have been infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). You may be able to hold the other person responsible for the emotional distress even if you were not infected. In some cases, the threat of exposure is the cause.
In bringing a civil lawsuit for STD infection, you may be able to rely on a number of different legal theories. The most appropriate legal theory will depend on the facts of your case. However, the most common theories are negligence and civil battery.
One potential cause of action is negligence. With this type of claim, the plaintiff must be able to prove that
- Defendant knew or should have known that he was a carrier of a disease
- Owed the plaintiff the duty to disclose this information
- Infected the plaintiff with a sexually transmitted disease
- Defendant’s action caused harm to the plaintiff
The keystone of a negligence claim is that the defendant must have disclose the information about STD so that the plaintiff could make a decision about his wish or lack to have an intercourse with defendant. In some cases, liability for negligence lies if the defendant exposed the plaintiff to a sexually transmitted disease, even if the transmission didn’t occur. Usually, damages in this situation are based on the mental anguish and emotional distress.
A battery cause of action for transmission of a sexually transmitted disease involves the defendant’s intentional, unconsented, and harmful contact with the plaintiff.
In an STD case, while the plaintiff may consent to sexual contact, he is not consenting to a contact accompanied by the known risk of contracting an STD. Furthermore, the defendant does not have to have intended to transmit the STD. It’s enough to proceed with sexual contact despite the possibility of transmission. For a civil battery claim, the victim must prove that the defendant has actual knowledge that he is a carrier of an STD or is likely to have one.
The person who infected you could face criminal charges under the laws of your state. Even in states where it is illegal to intentionally transmit an STD. You’ll have to prove more than just that the person was aware of his or her HIV status and intended to have sexual contact with you.
In order to prove fraud, the plaintiff must establish the following:
- Defendant knew that he had a sexually transmitted disease.
- Defendant hide, concealed, or otherwise failed in his duty to disclose that knowledge with the intention to have sexual intercourse
- Plaintiff contracted the disease as a result of sexual intercourse
Accordingly, a person who knowingly and intentionally fails to disclose knowledge of his sexually transmitted disease to a sexual partner can be liable for any injuries that the partner suffered from.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
A person who contracts an STD experience suffers emotional distress, including guilt, depression, anxiety, humiliation, or even self-destructive thoughts.
An injured person can recover damages for such emotional distress and hold the person with STD legally liable. Frequently, a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress for transmitting an STD is brought along with another legal theory, such as negligence. This is because demonstrating the elements of emotional distress and determining damages is usually very difficult.
Liability for Disclosing Another Person’s STD
Generally, disclosure of another’s person’s HIV status may be illegal, with narrow exceptions like court cases and medical procedures and. A violation of the statute can provide grounds for a civil lawsuit. Remember that you’re looking for monetary compensation for the harm you’ve experienced as a result of your STD infection. Compensation will include the costs of your medical treatment and your emotional. A civil lawsuit does not, at least not in terms of criminal penalties, punish the person who infected you.
In lawsuits involving the transmission of an STD, the same types of injury compensation that are available in other personal injury cases are usually available. The emotional distress a plaintiff experiences after contracting an STD would account for the majority of damages. If there were no severe physical symptoms or medical costs, along with the change in lifestyle.
In civil lawsuits, the plaintiff may be eligible to the following damages, including:
- The medical costs to treat the condition and costs of receiving psychological counseling after being receiving an STD
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- A jury may also award punitive damages to deter similar conduct in the future.
The damages in the case of STD exposure without infection would be based on the plaintiff’s fear and extreme anxiety after learning that they may have contracted an STD.
Damages for STD disclosure would be based primarily on the emotional distress caused by embarrassment, stigmatization, and/or discriminatory treatment that can occur when an STD is made public.
Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed as the result of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease, then you may be entitled to compensation. If that is the case, contact our Glendale personal injury lawyer today for a consultation and case review. Please feel free to give our office a call at 310.943.1171.