Can I sue for endangerment and negligence?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption