Woman Infected with Herpes Sues For $5 Million

The Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman has sued a man who knowingly exposed and infected our client with HSV Type 2 (genital herpes) as well as the HPV virus.  Filed in Supreme Court in Richmond County, New York, we seek damages for fraud, negligence, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress and for future medical expenses caused by the defendant’s tortious actions.  As the evidence will come out at trial, our client was dating a man who knew he had genital herpes and had been taking medication for it — and knowingly transmitted the disease to our client, even going so far as to lie about the reason he had a bandage on his penis (to cover up a herpes breakout) prior to engaging in unprotected sex.  Despite being asked if he was disease-free, the defendant continued the charade up until our client tested positive for genital herpes and the HPV virus; when confronted about not telling our client about his various venereal disease, the defendant simply claimed that he “thought [he] did.”  

Knowingly Transmitting a Venereal Disease is Not Just a Civil Wrong — it is a Crime

While this is an unusual litigation it is not novel: the knowing transmission of a sexually transmittable disease is actually a crime in New York pursuant to the New York Public Health Laws.  Pursuant to New York Public Health Law § 2307, any person who knowingly infects another with an infectious venereal disease is guilty of a misdemeanor.  As such, suing for compensatory and punitive damages for a criminal act is not uncommon.

The Damages Caused By Such an Act Can Be Huge

And the potential harm from the transmission for these diseases is grave: according to the National Cancer Institute, HPVs are a group of about 200 viruses, approximately 40 of which can be spread through sexual contact.  Virtually all types of cervical cancer are caused by HPV, and 70% of these cases involve either HPV 16 or HPV 18. Id.  Additionally, about 95% of anal cancers are caused by HPV, with most being connected to HPV 16. Id. HPV is also responsible for approximately 70% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the throat, palate, tongue, and tonsils), more than half of which are caused by HPV 16.  About 65% of vaginal cancers and 50% of vulvar cancers are caused by HPV, and most of these are the result of HPV 16.  Further, there is no known cure for HPV 16.

Genital herpes (HSV Type 2) is an incurable sexually transmitted disease characterized by groups
of small red bumps that develop into blisters on the genitals.  Over the following two to three weeks, the blisters can rupture into painful, open sores.  In approximately 70% of woman, additional symptoms develop such as flu-like discomfort, headaches, muscle aches, fever, and swollen glands.  Women may also experience a vaginal discharge.  In the first year of infection, most people experience approximately four outbreaks.  Although what triggers outbreaks is, as yet, not completely understood, several factors have been associated with the onset of symptoms: sunlight, wind, fever, physical injury, surgery, menstruation, suppression of the immune system, and emotional stress.

Do Not Be a Victim — Fight For Your Rights

If someone has knowingly infected you with a venereal disease, you do not have to be a victim and suffer with the consequences.  During just the past 12 months we have negotiated over $5 million in settlements for individuals who have been sexually harassed in the workplace or otherwise abused by individuals.  Call the top New York civil attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman today to enforce your rights; we can be reached at (212) 581-1001.