Hearing that you’ve tested positive for an incurable sexually transmitted disease is some of the worst news you can hear in a doctor’s office. You may be worried about how this condition could affect your overall health, relationships, and quality of life. This news is even more traumatic if you’ve contracted the disease from a partner who failed to disclose that they were infected with HIV, herpes, or another STD. In these cases, you may be feeling betrayed and angry, as someone you care for has violated your trust.
In New York and several other states, people who have STD’s are required by law to disclose this fact to their sexual partners. If they fail to do so and their partner is infected with their disease, they could face criminal charges as well as civil liability. These cases fall under tort law and are handled similarly to other personal injury cases. When a negligent driver causes a car accident and another motorist ends up permanently injured, that negligent driver can be sued. The same principle applies to people who infect others with STD’s through a failure to disclose their positive status.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an STD you contracted from a partner who failed to disclose their status, our Queens personal injury lawyers can help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.
New York Public Health Law § 2307
According to New York Public Health Law § 2307, “Any person who, knowing himself or herself to be infected with an infectious venereal disease, has sexual intercourse with another shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.” While making failure to disclose a criminal offense may help some people avoid contracting an STD in the future, the criminal justice system does little to take into account the needs of people who have already been infected. This is why many victims of this type of negligence decide to turn to civil courts for the support they need.
Do I Have Grounds For An STD Lawsuit?
It’s worth noting that STD personal injury lawsuits are difficult cases. In order for your partner to be considered negligent, you must prove that he or she was aware that they were infected with the disease. Additionally, different STD’s have different incubation periods – some diseases can take weeks or months to show symptoms. In order to build a strong case with evidence to back up your claim, you’ll need assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer. In many cases, a strong case will end in a settlement without needing to go to court.
Staten Island Woman Sues For $5 Million After Contracting Herpes
In June 2017, a Staten Island woman filed a $5 million lawsuit against her former boyfriend, alleging that he infected her with herpes after claiming to be STD-free. The lawsuit makes allegations of fraud, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and battery.
The woman never tested positive for any sexually transmitted disease before contracting herpes. According to the complaint, she and her boyfriend began their relationship on April 5, 2015, and she tested negative for all STD’s on April 6, 2015.
The complaint states that the woman spotted a prescription bottle for Acyclovir, which is used to treat genital herpes. She claims later that month, she saw a bandage on the man’s genitals and asked about it, but the man gave an excuse. The complaint also contains text message exchanges between the two former partners.
She is seeking compensation for emotional distress, future health risks, medical expenses, and other damages.