can u sue a person for giving you a disease

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can u sue a person for giving you a disease

Asked on June 15, 2009 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Maybe. First and foremost, while I assume its a serious, life threatening, disabiling, and or lifetime disease--HIV being the best example, herpes being another one--it's worth restating that unless this was something life altering or life limiting, it is not worth bringing a legal action.

So, let's assume this was something at least as serious and permanent as herpes and possibly as bad as HIV. Then you could bring a lawsuit if (1) the person knew he or she had the disease; (2) there are reasonable precautions that the person could have taken to prevent passing on the disease; and (3) the person was either unreasonably careless in not using those precautions, or deliberately infected you. Another issue would be that you did not know they had the disease, or knew but thought all reasonable precautions were being taken.

The classic examples are HIV-related--if someone knew they had HIV but has unprotected sex with another person without telling that person or using a condom. That would lead to liability. But if the first person didn't know he or she had HIV, no liability. Or if they were using a condom and the condom broke, no liability (they were taking precautions.) Or if the second person knew the first had HIV but chose to have unprotected sex, there'd be no liability.

So there may be a claim, but there are lots of hoops to jump through to make.

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

this is a very tricky area of law. It is possible to bring a lawsuit for someone giving you a disease but the specifics of the transmission are important. How it came about, if there was an implied lack of such a possibility etc.

Without the specifics it is difficult for me to address and give you a more clear answer but what I suggest you do is contact a l0ocal personal injury attorney,set up a consultation, it is oftentimes free. Once you explain everything to them they will be able to give you a better idea as to whether you may have a valid cause of action.


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