General Question

rongshi's avatar

Is any legal action i can take against my boyfriend as he passed his STD to me without any considerations of my saftey?

Asked by rongshi (1points) May 28th, 2008

i got Herpe infection from him

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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Unlikely. He wasn’t the only one that didn’t take your safety into consideration. Even if you tried to sue you would have to prove that he knew he had before the act. And even with that you would most likely lose.

If my girlfriend doesn’t take her birth control pills for a few day and gets pregnant that doesn’t get me out of paying child support.

wildflower's avatar

Interesting thought. Aside from the challenge of having to prove malicious intent, what would you be claiming for, what is the $ value of your sex life?
Is that really something you would want to define?

sinscriven's avatar

It depends on where you are, In California passing a disease knowingly with malicious intent is a felony.

But then you’d have to prove that it was intentional, and that it was malicious.

And also there’s always the counter argument that you also failed to properly protect yourself as well, so you couldn’t place all the blame on him.

gorillapaws's avatar

@wildflower, you could certainly add up the estimated cost of a lifetime supply of herpes medication like Valtrax. That would be a good starting place I would think.

Proving intent would be tricky though. For example, if someone knew they had genital herpes and had unprotected sex when they did not have an active outbreak without telling their partner of their infection, would that constitute malicious intent? Herpes can be transmitted between active outbreaks, but I’m pretty sure the transmission rates are many times lower. I think in a situation like that while ethically/morally wrong, it would be hard show that he had maliciously intended to pass that on (because he probably didn’t intend that in all likelihood).

In a civil suit though, you may have more of a case, if you can prove that he knew he had the disease prior to passing it on to you. I’m sure this situation must have come up before in tort law; I wonder what the precedents are for situations like this.

osakarob's avatar

This synopsis is from a personal injury attorney’s homepage at

Civil STD lawsuits

In some cases, a person infected with a serious sexually transmitted disease may have the legal right to seek monetary damages. In these cases, the injured person may file an STD lawsuit on the grounds of battery, fraud, negligence, and/or the infliction of psychological and emotional distress.

Pursuing a lawsuit over a sexually transmitted disease is a serious decision that requires careful consideration of both legal and non-legal factors. In most cases, curable STDs—such as Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, urethritis, and some cases of genital warts—do not provide sufficient grounds for legal action because the “damages” are not considered “economically viable.”

However, several cases have been successfully won by those infected with a serious STD.

For example, in 2005, an Atlanta Falcons quarterback was sued by a 26-year-old Georgia woman who claimed the football player had infected her with herpes in 2003. In this herpes lawsuit, the woman sought damages for unwanted physical contact, pain, suffering, and potential future medical complications. She allegedly filed this STD lawsuit after the football player refused to help her deal with the symptoms caused by this disease. At first, the player denied knowing that he had herpes but later apologized to the woman. This suit was settled in the woman’s favor for unspecified monetary damages.

In another STD case, a Missouri appeals court ruled that an unmarried person may recover monetary damages for the negligent transmission of herpes. In the 1990s, a New York court ruled that wrongful transmission of an STD was legitimate grounds for a lawsuit in which compensation is sought from those responsible.
Legal considerations in an STD lawsuit

While the non-legal considerations in an STD case vary by individual, there are certain legal factors a person must bear in mind when considering an STD lawsuit. While this explanation is in not intended to be a substitute for legal advice, these are a few factors typically involved in an STD case:
Burden of Proof: To be successful in an STD lawsuit, the plaintiff (that is, the person unknowingly infected with a serious STD) must prove that the defendant (that is, the alleged “infector”) knew or should have known that they were infected with an STD. They must also prove that the plaintiff was unaware of the defendant’s STD at the time of the sexual encounter. Third, the plaintiff must show that they were infected by the defendant and no one else. A qualified attorney can examine your case to determine if your best options.

Type of STD: A person who has been infected with a curable STD may not have viable grounds for a legal claim. However, because diseases like Herpes and HIV are incurable and cause significant damages, people negligently or willfully infected with one of these diseases may have the right to seek legal compensation. To learn more about STD cases, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney who can determine your rights and options.

Legal damages. In a civil case, an injured person may seek monetary compensation for all past and future losses associated with the injury. In cases of serious STDs, the victim may seek compensation for life-long medical treatment, all medication costs associated with treatment and care, expenses related to high risk pregnancy management (expecting mothers with herpes must typically have a cesarean section in order to avoid passing the disease to her child), pain and suffering, emotional damages, and possibly even punitive damages.

Statute of Limitations. In all civil suits, legal action must be taken within a specific period of time. In general, this time period begins when the person learns of their injury (the time of “discovery”—in this case, when the person learns they have acquired an STD. In an STD case, however, the statute of limitations may begin at different times. For instance, it is up to the court to decide whether the statute begins at the time the STD was transmitted, the time the person first developed symptoms of the STD, or the time the person is diagnosed with the disease. In order to learn more about the statute of limitations, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you may forfeit your legal rights to seek compensation for your losses and suffering.

Settlement or Trial: Obtaining Compensation: There are generally two ways a person can be awarded damages in an STD case: through a settlement whereby the defendant agrees to pay damages or through a lawsuit whereby the court orders the defendant to pay damages. A large majority of personal injury cases (under which STD lawsuits fall), are settled out of court. To learn more about settlements and trials, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney about your specific case.

Here is another link:

Also, the wikipedia page regarding “negligent infliction of emotional distress” might be useful to read.

shilolo's avatar

How do you know he gave it to you? You might have gotten herpes from someone else. Were tested before getting involved with him?

nayeight's avatar

I dont think its right for u to sue him. You couldve used a condom and protcted yourself. I dont trust anyone. There are couples out there who have been married for decades and one spouse gives the other an STD or aids. While it may be their fault for giving it to you, you have the power to protect yourself by insisting that he wrap it up.

shilolo's avatar

Nayeight. You got that right. Just this past weekend I had to inform a woman that she was HIV positive (and she’s been married for more than 30 years)....

ben's avatar

Be aware: condoms protect you from lots of things (HIV, pregnancy, etc.) and are clearly wise to use—but you can still contract herpes and hpv while using condoms. Just FYI.

shilolo's avatar

Great answer Ben.

cheebdragon's avatar

Im pretty sure that herpes can remain dormant for something like 7 years in some people, your boyfriends lawyer could argue that its possible that your boyfriend got it from you.

wildflower's avatar

Am I the only one that finds the phrase “legal action against my boyfriend” a bit odd? realistically he’s not going to be your boyfriend anymore if you take legal action, is he? And do you still want to be with him if you also want to sue him? That thought pattern is absolutely baffling and astonishing to me.

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