Woman Wins $900K From Guy Who Gave Her Herpes

Jurors say he had a responsibility to tell her
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2012 10:08 AM CDT
Woman Wins $900K From Guy Who Gave Her Herpes
A condom could have saved a certain dentist a lot of money.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Reason to wear a condom No. 437: Giving someone an STD can be really expensive. A 49-year-old Oregon woman won a lawsuit last week against the 69-year-old man she says gave her genital herpes on their fourth date, the Oregonian reports. The jury awarded her $900,000, almost the entire amount she'd been asking for, declaring that the incident had been 75% the man's fault. "We all felt he should have told her—he had a responsibility to tell her," one juror said. The plaintiff claimed the man had agreed to use a condom, but changed his mind at the last second, and only mentioned the disease afterward.

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STD lawsuits are rare because it's hard to prove such claims, but the woman shared medical records showing she'd had a clean bill of health two months earlier. She also described a miserable aftermath, complete with medications that caused hair loss and weight gain, and depression. Her attorney called her heroic for pursuing the case, knowing it would be "embarrassing [and] massively unpleasant." But the defense attorney disagreed. "Grow up. Come on. You're an adult," he said. "She is not some little innocent victim." (Read more herpes stories.)

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