Can I be sued for transmitting herpes to someone, despite disclosing to them that I had an STD?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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Can I be sued for transmitting herpes to someone, despite disclosing to them that I had an STD?

I’m being threatened with a lawsuit. My ex-sexual partner is concerned that if she contracted HSV I (herpes) from me. If her test is positive, she will try to sue me. However, I disclosed to her before we had sex that I had HSV, and STD. I wasn’t in an outbreak (I’ve never noticed an outbreak) I told her that I think I might have had it since I was born, and the chance would be low (no outbreak). The next day she told me “thanks for being honest” and even “even if I got something it was worth it”. Now all of a sudden she is flipping out. Should I be very scared?

Asked on August 22, 2011 Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Two different issues:

1) Can you be sued, and be faced with a lawsuit which you have to defend? Yes. The threshold for instituting a lawsuit, if someone is so inclined is low--basically, they just have to be able to state a claim or cause of action for which they could receive compensation, and people do get money if they were infected with a STD by a sexual partner.

2) If sued, would you lose? That depends on the facts--exactly what did you disclose to her, when? Also on credibility and other evidence--if you and she tell different stories, who will be believed? Who can support his or her version.

You don't need to do anything until/unless actually sued. If you are, then you should consult with an attorney about  the specifics of your situation to decide what to do (e.g. fight it; settle; etc.).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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