STD? Slap Your Ex With Lawsuit
Courts move toward holding people liable for infecting partner — even unknowingly
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Oct 16, 2008 12:00 PM CDT
Even if someone is not aware they have an STD, court precedence is swaying toward punishing those who "reasonably should have known" based on past behavior.   (AP Photo/Pool, Marilyn Newton)
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(Newser) – California courts are deciding a civil dispute that could change first-date conversations. A woman is suing her ex-husband for allegedly giving her HIV, though he claims to not have known he was infected at the time, MSNBC writes. The case follows successful wins in Iowa and New York by plaintiffs who contracted HPV, a virus to which 75% of people are exposed.

The California ruling could imply that people are liable if they "reasonably should have known" they had a disease based on past activity. Claiming to be disease-free without being sure is an outward lie, a lawyer argued in the Iowa case. "You should say, 'I have no signs, but I cannot tell you I never had it,'" he suggested.