Can I sue for endangerment and negligence?

My roommate was recently in the hospital. I knew nothing and decided to see what
she mentioned on facebook. I found out she had C diff, which is both deadly and
contagious. When I confronted her, she had no intention of ever telling me and
refused to sanitize anything the two of us may have come in contact with. I
could have contacted this and had no idea it was from her. What actions can I
take against her for endangering my health?

Asked on April 13, 2016 under Personal Injury, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue her in the situation you describe. First, as a general matter, the law does not make a person liable for being sick or contracting a disease. There are exceptions, such as if a person who has an STD and knows about it engages in unprotected sex with another without warning that person, but those exceptions turn not just on their being some possibilith of infection, but on the behavior being so intimate and the chance of infection being so high as to justify liability. But  those situations are the exception: generally, sick people are not liable just because someone else might be exposed to their disease. You would have to show behavior more wrongful than simply being your roommate who is sick to establish liability.
Second, and even more imporant, there is NO compensation and no liability arising from what *could* have happened but did not; the law only provides compensation for actual injuries, including illness. You write that you "could have contracted" the disease: there is no compensation for what "could" have happened, only for what actually did.


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