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bumblebee

lawsuits 101

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Hey Everyone - I noticed there are several threads with questions concerning legal options for contracting herpes. I thought it might be helpful to clarify a few things about lawsuits, specifically pertaining to herpes.

First, the legal option for contracting herpes is a civil lawsuit - not criminal. Civil and Criminal law are two separate systems and work in different ways. Civil law is what we think of when we hear that someone sued McDonalds for having too hot of coffee. Basically it is when one person wants to be compensated (usually by money) for the injury or damage caused by another person. Any person can find a lawyer and sue. Using herpes as an example, you would sue the person that gave herpes to you because they caused you harm. You want to be paid to compensate for getting herpes, which may include the medical bills, time away from work to see the doctor, and pain and suffering (compensatory damages) and if applicable money for the sake of punishing the wrongdoer for lying/deceiving/etc (called punitive damages - but can only be rewarded with compensatory damages). In order to win this type of lawsuit, it must be more likely than not that the person that gave you herpes has caused the harm (a legal standard called a 'preponderance of the evidence').

Criminal law, on the other hand, is when someone breaks a law. The prosecutor/District Attorney decides whether or not to press charges against the person that broke the law (you do not hire an attorney - unless you are the defendant and are defending yourself!). The penalties can be fines paid to the government or jailtime, depending on the crime. Furthermore, it is more difficult to win this case because guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (that means practically absolute certainty, rather than just 'more likely than not'). Yes, there could be criminal implications for someone that passes on herpes, but it is highly unlikely and depends on your state's laws on misrepresentation, and duty to inform.

Second, before you speak with an attorney, I think it is important to truly consider whether taking legal action is the best choice for you. Lawsuits are time consuming, emotionally exhausting, costly, and often inconvenient. And this may come as a surprise to most of you, but only 3% (or less) of tort cases go to trial; this is because most cases are dismissed, settled, etc. Perhaps the best way to know if suing is the right option for you is to ask someone who has been in a lawsuit before. They will probably tell you if the experience of going through a lawsuit is worth it.

People have sued and won. Here are some cases that you can search online for and read about:

Meany v. Meany, 639 So. 2d 229. (Louisiana) A woman sued her former husband for negligently transmitting herpes to her and won approx. $90,000.

Gonzalez v. Moffitt, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 6400 (Ohio) Court ruled in favor of plaintiff ex-wife in plaintiff's suit for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, based upon exposure to a sexually transmitted disease.

Third, if you decide after careful consideration that a lawsuit is right for you, then you'll need to contact a personal injury lawyer. They will probably explain everything to you much better than I can - but here is the overall process in a lawsuit:

1) First your lawyer will draft a 'complaint' and it will be sent ('served') to who you are suing. The complaint will state briefly what happened, the injury caused, and the compensation wanted (usually money).

2) Once the person you are suing receives the complaint, they will have a limited amount of time to answer. Usually this means they will also hire an attorney. The 'answer' or 'response' will affirm, deny, or ask questions about what was said in the complaint. They could also allege something against you - that you knew about the herpes or that you are the one who had the herpes initially, etc. This is when the disagreement usually begins.

3) Once both you and the person being sued have made all the statements to tell their story (this is not evidence!!! it is just what each person is alleging) a judge will determine whether the case needs to continue

- if there is no dispute over the facts: (ex: both of you agree that you got herpes and she/he didn't tell you and he knew he had it, both agreed to the costs of damages) the judge can order a decision then and there.

-any issue that is NOT agreed upon will require more investigation, called "discovery"

4) Discovery is when both parties start to obtain evidence. This is when your attorney will put together the medical records, expert testimony from doctors, testimony by people that can support your case etc. In the American legal system, all the evidence can be seen by both parties - so you can see all the evidence the person you're suing has, and he/she can see all of your evidence. This is partly why so many cases never make it to trial: once everyone sees all the evidence from both sides, the outcome becomes more apparent, and rather than risk a jury* from coming up with some random decision, it is better to settle. But, this does not always happen. When evidence contradicts, then the jury* must decide.

5) Finally comes trial, which still has no guarantees. The jury* may decide that it wasn't his/her fault that you have herpes. Or they may think that it was their fault, but that it is only worthy of $10. Or maybe they will be so appalled and give you $200k. It really just depends. This is something you'll need to consider when deciding to sue: will all this hard work be worth $10? It is a risk you will take...

6) But it is still not over.... win or lose, there can be appeals - ex: something procedurally went wrong in the trial or the jury didn't obey instructions, etc.

*** But not all cases are resolved by a jury. More likely than not, a judge will make the final decision - a small claims court sort of deal (like judge judy). It depends on where you are suing and how much you are suing for, etc. ***

Most lawyers for personal injury work on a contigency fee basis: this means they do not charge you. Rather, if they win they will take a large percentage of the money won. The other option is to pay an attorney an hourly fee (and then keep your winnings), but if don't already know, paying a lawyer's hourly fee is VERY expensive and probably not a good option.

Anyway, that's a lawsuit in a nutshell. Just the basics, but hopefully this helps some of you decide what is best for you right now. If you have any questions, just let me know....

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Hey Everyone - I noticed there are several threads with questions concerning legal options for contracting herpes. I thought it might be helpful to clarify a few things about lawsuits, specifically pertaining to herpes. ....

Actually, we're not all strangers to lawsuits around here. Some have sued and several are in the midst of lawsuits. It has been a while since one attempted summarizing a legal area in one post like this however.

First, the legal option for contracting herpes is a civil lawsuit - not criminal. In order to win this type of lawsuit, it must be more likely than not that the person that gave you herpes has caused the harm (a legal standard called a 'preponderance of the evidence'). ....

I’d phrase it as, based on the evidence, it must be more likely that what you’re claiming is true rather than what the defendant is claiming is true.

Second, before you speak with an attorney, I think it is important to truly consider whether taking legal action is the best choice for you. ....

I disagree. There should be no hesitation at all to reach out to an attorney before you decide for certain to sue. Talking to an attorney is part of the process of figuring out any legal option. You cannot do that sitting alone in your kitchen. It doesn't have to cost much either. Moreover, the more attorneys you talk to the more you learn about your case’s strengths and weaknesses, your legal entitlements, and the different attorney’s strengths and weaknesses. You will notice how some attorneys aren’t afraid of certain facts in your case that stump another attorney; one attorney will have experience with particular judges that another one won’t; one will have better intuition about the defendant and their thresholds; one attorney will work 10 times faster than another one; one attorney will show more humanity or listen more; one will tell you your case is worth $5000 and the next will say it's worth $500,000. These things matter. They’re organic. They change how you view your case, your options and your life. It’s not just chit chat.

Lawsuits are time consuming, emotionally exhausting, costly, and often inconvenient. ....

I disagree. “Time consuming”? Civil herpes lawsuits are nowhere near as time consuming as an ordinary bad divorce. The only person spending time is the lawyer, and they are able to do that and manage a portfolio of other cases just fine. As a plaintiff, you have little to do timewise: Attend one deposition? 2 hours maybe? Answer the phone when your lawyer calls to give an update— maybe 15 minutes per call every other week? How is this time consuming? You don’t have to go to court (before trial). You rarely go to your lawyer’s office. As a plaintiff you are free to go on with your life just fine; you just happen to be a plaintiff. The lawyer is the one spending time, and a lot of that is spent waiting on other folks.

“Emotionally exhausting”? Civil herpes lawsuits are nowhere near as emotionally exhausting as an ordinary bad divorce.

As for “inconvenience”, learning your time-tables is inconvenient. Not learning them is more inconvenient. Some folks clearly suffer more if they don’t sue. It’s a personal decision.

And this may come as a surprise to most of you, but only 3% (or less) of tort cases go to trial; this is because most cases are dismissed, settled, etc. ....

First, you speak of all tort cases in your statistic, while the percentage of HSV cases within that group is astonishingly miniscule, so that statistic is non-applicable here.

2nd, why should one care how many cases go to trial anyway? It makes no difference to whether you pursue a case or not. Winning is not going to trial. Winning is getting what you want. If you and your lawyer can do that in a settlement, that is often BETTER than a trial. First off, it means your case was strong enough to make the defendant not risk losing big to you in court. Second, it means you get to vote on what you win rather than be at the full mercy of judge, jury and precedent. Settled cases are winning cases.

Perhaps the best way to know if suing is the right option for you is to ask someone who has been in a lawsuit before. They will probably tell you if the experience of going through a lawsuit is worth it. ....

Aha..that would be me…It was definitely worth it.

People have sued and won. Here are some cases that you can search online for and read about: Meany v. Meany, 639 So. 2d 229. (Louisiana) A woman sued her former husband for negligently transmitting herpes to her and won approx. $90,000. ....

Right, though that was $93,676 in pure compensatory damages in 1994. Using a consumer price index correction factor, that translates to $130,014.89 in 2007 dollars. Similarly, the award of $750,000 in Maharam v. Maharam in 1986 translates to $1.4 million in 2007 dollars (Maharam v. Maharam, 510 N.Y.S.2d 104). It’s important to interpret these outcomes in their present values.

Third, if you decide after careful consideration that a lawsuit is right for you, then you'll need to contact a personal injury lawyer. ....

This is often the challenging part—even more so than the case itself. Finding a competent attorney to take the case for which there is often thin if any precedent. People never stop asking how to find a good attorney.

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Bumblebee is a real person, that just happens to be a real, evil person.

Let's all go sue crazy!!!

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I would think that it would be hard to prove it unless you never had sex before. How can you prove that you got from a specific person if it can lay dormant for years? How can you prove that they knew that they already had it? when so many dont know.

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I would think that it would be hard to prove it unless you never had sex before. How can you prove that you got from a specific person if it can lay dormant for years? How can you prove that they knew that they already had it? when so many dont know.

Clearly, you haven't read these threads. Maybe you should get acquainted with successful cases all over the US going back many decades that address all you're mentioning here. It's actually been discussed at great length.

You (and standard) can start with these:

Doe v. Johnson
, 817 F. Supp. 1382 (W.D. Mich. 1993) (AIDS);

Berner v. Caldwell
, 543 So. 2d at 686 (genital herpes);

Kathleen K. v. Robert B.
, 150 Cal. App. 3d 992 (1984) (genital herpes);

Long v. Adams
, 333 S.E.2d 852 (Ga. Ct. App. 1985) (genital herpes);

Stopera v. DiMarco
, 554 N.W.2d 379 (Mich. Ct. App. 1996) (HPV);

M.M.D. v. B.L.G.
, 467 N.W.2d 645 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991) (genital herpes);

Mussivand v. David
, 544 N.E.2d 265 (Ohio 1988 ) (venereal disease);

Crowell v. Crowell
, 105 S.E. 206 (N.C. 1920) (venereal disease);

DeVall v. Strunk
, 96 S.W.2d 245 (Tex. Civ. App. 1936) (crab lice);

Duke v. Housen
, 589 P.2d 334 (Wyo.), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 863 (1979) (gonorrhea).

In Meany v. Meany, 639 So. 2d 229 (La. 1994), the wife had recovered a judgment from the trial court against the husband for the negligent infliction of a venereal disease. The appellate court reversed, stating that the husband did not have actual or constructive knowledge that he was carrying the disease. The court noted that there was no evidence the husband had ever been infected with a venereal disease. He had been treated for a "drippage," but the record did not indicate that this was a symptom of genital herpes. Nor did the record reflect anything that would prove the husband had actual or constructive knowledge of a venereal disease.

The state supreme court overruled this decision, finding sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that the husband was negligent. The court said a drippage, coupled with the fact that the husband had had sexual relations with five different women, was sufficient for the jury to impute knowledge of the disease to the husband.

As you can see, this is an example where there was not even "proof" that the person accused even had an STD or STI. They were still liable. The system worked wonderfully.

It didn't matter what he knew.

It didn't matter that HSV lays dormant.

It didn't matther that he didn't evidence outbreaks.

Bullshit doesn't matter.

Negligence does.

Meany v. Meany, 639 So. 2d 229 (La. 1994) (genital herpes)

Jury awarded $ 125,000.00 in damages to compensate Mrs. Meany for pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, medical expenses, and loss of society and enjoyment of life: “This record contained enough evidence from which a jury could reasonably conclude that Mr. Meany knew, should have known, or should have suspected that he was putting his wife at risk of venereal disease by sexual contact. … Nationwide, courts have traditionally imposed liability for communication of harmful…diseases… More recently, liability has been extended to the communication of sexually transmitted diseases.…It is clear that society's interest in protecting the public health, the severity of the risk that others would be infected with diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid, or smallpox, and the highly contagious nature of the diseases justify the imposition of this burden on the diseased person.” --The Honorable Justice Calogero, Supreme Court of Louisiana.

http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cases/STDs/Meany.htm

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please dont put me in the same catagory as standard. i find him very offending. you are right, i haven't read all the threads. i am not at all saying that you should not sue. i would love to sue the person that gave this to me. i am pretty sure he knew he had it and never said anything. I was just windering how i could even prove that i got it from him. i know that he has it now. But how do i know that he knew when i was with him, how do i know that i didn't have it and it had been dormant for years? Just questions that i had.

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please dont put me in the same catagory as standard. i find him very offending. you are right, i haven't read all the threads. i am not at all saying that you should not sue. i would love to sue the person that gave this to me. i am pretty sure he knew he had it and never said anything. I was just windering how i could even prove that i got it from him. i know that he has it now. But how do i know that he knew when i was with him, how do i know that i didn't have it and it had been dormant for years? Just questions that i had.

Sorry to insult you with that categorization--I don't blame you. Totally sorry. I'll actually try and respond to your note later today.

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Thank you. i also apologize I probally shouldn't respond to threads unless i am more educated on the topic. i guess i am just confused about the whole thing.i just didnt have any ob until 3 1/2 years later. Except for when they had done a pap smear around that time the results showed something consistent with hsv. They did a blood test that came back negtive, Well ayear after that i heard he had herpes. Being on educated i thought i was fine since i had the blood test. Well, now years later i have an ob. i wish i knew then what i know now. Sorry again.

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Thank you. i also apologize I probally shouldn't respond to threads unless i am more educated on the topic. i guess i am just confused about the whole thing.i just didnt have any ob until 3 1/2 years later. Except for when they had done a pap smear around that time the results showed something consistent with hsv. They did a blood test that came back negtive, Well ayear after that i heard he had herpes. Being on educated i thought i was fine since i had the blood test. Well, now years later i have an ob. i wish i knew then what i know now. Sorry again.

I don't expect people to read threads in full when they come to it; my concern was for the frequent person who comes to these threads full of desire to talk other people out of suing---other people who have often already decided to sue, as in, the decision is already made so shut the hell up, I'm grown, so respect my decision instead of trying to impose your own desire onto me to have me reverse my decision on something I'm legally entitled to do.

If people don't like lawsuits, fine: don't file one. But that has ZERO to do with whether I file or not.

The other issue we see here often is folks who know nothing about the law (which by itself isn't the problem) but who talk to people AS THOUGH they know. I mean some will flat out say "the law won't allow this" and "the court will do this" and "you'll have to prove this" and "you will need evidence of that" and they are DEAD WRONG about it ALL. They don't know any law, nevermind the applicable law; they don't even know the jurisdiction--often they are in a different country from the one in which the person they are "advising" resides, but they're talking like they actually know this other country's law, nevermind individual state law; they don't even know their own country's law. And it's all pretty ridiculous, because these are real people looking for real information and they have to hear all this crap.

That's really where my energy was directed...I wrongly intuited that you were aiming to point out all the reasons one should not be able to sue (to which I would say, why point those out without also pointing out the reasons they can sue, especially when that is what they are actually seeking to learn--people don't go online to learn how not to sue, rather they seek information for how to sue. If they don't want to sue, they can go to another thread...that's all).

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Oh quincy, and here's the other deal with your case:

In your case what you're saying is that you didn't have knowledge of your injury (infection with HSV) when it happened. This was 3+ years ago which is typically well after the Statute of Limitations runs in most jurisdictions (period up to when you can file a claim).

The question is when did your statute of limitations clock start ticking for you. I'm not sure. This depends on your state. For example, in California, apparently the clock starts not necesarily when the injury occurs, but when you have reason to suspect it has occurred (I just found this quickly illustrative--I see Minnesota may be your jurisdiction if that's where you were infected) Other states have some similar "extensions" or delayed tolling:

"The discovery rule provides that the limitations period commences when the plaintiff has or should reasonably have knowledge of the injury and its cause and a suspicion of wrongdoing. Suspicion is examined from an objective standpoint; the issue is what a reasonable person would know or suspect under the facts of your case."

http://consumerlawpage.com/article/sol-extended.shtml

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wow - i'm really sorry that i offended people on this site. i meant my post to be helpful/informative, not telling people what to do. i respect the decision anyone makes. once again, i truly apologize.

i just have to mention though, that i came to this website for support. i am depressed and hurt because i was given herpes by an abusive boyfriend. i am having an extremely difficult time accepting what happened and my counselor suggested that i try to find support on this forum because my city does not have any support groups.

it tears me up so much to have someone tell me i am an evil person. what kind of support forum is this?

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Dont listen to anything he says. Depending on the circumstances I would certainly sue. I think you have to do what is right for the situation. I am glad that you got out of the abbusive relationship. Noone deserves that! I know what that can do to your self esteem, probally worse than herpes.

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wow - i'm really sorry that i offended people on this site. i meant my post to be helpful/informative, not telling people what to do. i respect the decision anyone makes. once again, i truly apologize.

i just have to mention though, that i came to this website for support. i am depressed and hurt because i was given herpes by an abusive boyfriend. i am having an extremely difficult time accepting what happened and my counselor suggested that i try to find support on this forum because my city does not have any support groups.

it tears me up so much to have someone tell me i am an evil person. what kind of support forum is this?

Honey it's the internet; you'll run into all kinds of stupid + undermedicated crazies---and that guy is of no consequence in this entire forum--- or likely anywhere else. :roll: He just popped in one day---nothing to take seriously at all. I've been here a few years. I think your post was helpful and I applaud you for sharing it. I chomped at the bit a little in case you were one of the folks here to scare people into silence on the legal front by exaggerating the challenges of suing (it happens). I got HSV through rape. Others can share their experiences; you aren't alone though.

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It didn't matter what he knew.

It didn't matter that HSV lays dormant.

It didn't matther that he didn't evidence outbreaks.

Bullshit doesn't matter.

Negligence does.

So you punish someone for something they had no clue they had?? If you have no symptoms, which a hell of alot of people dont, they wouldnt think of getting tested for herpes. If they went in for a full STI screening and it came back clean then they might not feel there is anything to worry about. So many dont realise that herpes is not part of the test.

Yes the information is there to read and learn about, but until it happens to you or a close loved one, mjoirty dont educate themsleves on it.

I can understand the anger at catching this from someone and the suing makes you feel like you are doing something constructive about the situation.

tohealth: You had more reason to sue (press charges) as they forced themslevs on you and not only did you have to deal with that but catching this as well. I cant being to understand how that felt!

I just dont understand how people can make others pay and punish them for something they didnt know about!

So many people have said on this site that if they truely didnt know they had it, then neither you nor they can be blamed for it being passed on.

I dont now... but kinda seems like...for example.... say I parked my car in a free space, which happened to be outside someones house. Its just a free parking space, the one outside mine is taken. Then the couple that live in the house i parked outside come home and have to park a little way down the street. One of them has trouble walking (which I didnt know, as I dont know who's house it was) and so they trip and fall, hurting themslevs becasue they have to walk further from the car than normal. Now this couple decide to sue me becsue it was due to my car being in front of their house that meant that person had to walk further, resulting in them falling over and injuring themselves. Could I really be blamed for that?

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Well I talked to a lawyer today....

It is, in fact, NOT a personal injury case in Louisiana. It would have been a civil rights case.

It is, in fact, ILLEGAL to negiligently, and intentionally pass ANY std to someone. Which leads me to believe that I might be able to press criminal charges.

So what the lawyer said... I could sue him, but I probably wouldn't win due to my sordid past. Plus it is going to cost me between 2 and 4 thousand dollars on the low end to have an expert witness to say that he is the only possible suspect. Not to mention the damage to my psyche from being drilled by his lawyer about my sexual background.

So my idea, which I can't even do because he'd sue me... I want to post a picture of him, with his name and screen name with a disclaimer that reads as such: "This man gave me herpes. He lied about it, took the condom of without my permission, and continued to lie about it. WATCH OUT FOR THIS DANGEROUS PREDATOR."

*sigh* Maybe the criminal charges will go through... I just wish I could prevent this from happening to someone else.

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Kya,

I understand your questions and will try to answer them succinctly:

So you punish someone for something they had no clue they had??

This is hard because you are focusing on what they actually knew--which makes me think you didn’t read the judge’s opinion addressing this. The judge’s opinion is the law. Literally. If you don’t read that opinion the topic won’t make sense. What a person actually knows can only help the plaintiff; but what they do NOT know, does not necessarily HURT the plaintiff or necessarily HELP the Defendant. Granted, a whole legal course on tort law would best clarify the point bothering you and you can’t get that in a forum exactly. You’re stuck on something that strikes you as “hurting innocent people” or kicking a sweet puppy and you can’t get past it. It’s a bad thing to be stuck on.

2nd, don’t assume innocence in people when you’re a plaintiff. Start with the facts. FACT 1: The only thing we know for sure is that you got HSV and you didn’t give it to yourself. FACT 2: You don’t know if somebody had no symptoms. You can never know if somebody had no symptoms. You can only find out if they ever DID. You do not assume that a lack of symptoms in a medical record is equivalent to not having symptoms or not knowing---this goes back to the judge’s opinion. Every defendant is a little angel. Every one will say they didn’t have symptoms. The lawyer digs and finds that nearly always, the accused not only had symptoms, but there’s a girlfriend from the past who got infected too, and a 7 year old prescription for Zovirax their insurer paid for with 3 refills in their name.

How many US cases are you aware of where a person was sued who said they did not ever have any symptoms and who in light of all evidence seemed more likely than not to be innocent?

How many people in this forum have wrongly accused somebody and found out through a lawsuit that the person actually didn’t have HSV?

Then ask, how many people in this forum have accused somebody of infecting them only to find that the person (while insisting they are innocent with no symptoms) refused to get tested, refused to provide a blood test they supposedly had or had medical history of using antivirals or social history of infecting another person?

If you have no symptoms, which a hell of alot of people dont, they wouldnt think of getting tested for herpes. If they went in for a full STI screening and it came back clean then they might not feel there is anything to worry about. So many dont realise that herpes is not part of the test.

Fine. And the defendant may not be liable. But his doctor may be liable to both the guy and his sexual partner he infected under two different claims.

I can understand the anger at catching this from someone and the suing makes you feel like you are doing something constructive about the situation.

But this is not about simple anger though anger is fine. This is about compensation for a true economic loss. Sexual health status is an economic asset. Injury to it warrants compensation.

I just dont understand how people can make others pay and punish them for something they didnt know about! .

Easily—back to the judge’s opinion. How do you want the law to work? Do you want drug companies to put drugs on the market that kill 50% of those who take it and then say, “Your Honor, we didn’t know the drug would kill people so we aren’t responsible.” In criminal law, do you want somebody to kill and then say, “Your Honor, I didn’t know that randomly killing people was illegal, so I’m not guilty.” All you would do is take “not knowing” to a high science: everybody would become a genius at not knowing every single thing they wanted no accountability for.

I’m repeating myself by now…

I dont now... but kinda seems like...for example.... say I parked my car in a free space, which happened to be outside someones house. Its just a free parking space, the one outside mine is taken. Then the couple that live in the house i parked outside come home and have to park a little way down the street. One of them has trouble walking (which I didnt know, as I dont know who's house it was) and so they trip and fall, hurting themslevs becasue they have to walk further from the car than normal. Now this couple decide to sue me becsue it was due to my car being in front of their house that meant that person had to walk further, resulting in them falling over and injuring themselves. Could I really be blamed for that?

It’s not the same thing: where you parked your car is not in any way a proximal cause of their injury. They have no relationship. There’s nothing forseeable under the law about their injury as a result of your car’s location. You didn’t breach any duty of care to them. You didn’t have any duty of care to them. If what you said was true, then everybody could sue everybody—we could sue our parents for giving birth to us because we had a bad day and but for them putting us in the world, we wouldn’t have had the bad day. The issue is not injury, but negligent injury.

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Well I talked to a lawyer today....It is, in fact, NOT a personal injury case in Louisiana. It would have been a civil rights case.

I think you definitely need to talk to some more lawyers. In particular, you need to ask them what the precedent cases are by name and what similar cases they have successfully filed before if any. If they don’t know of any precedent, but will consent to researching it, fine. If they don’t know any precedent but are insisting that the law is this or that, they aren’t credible.

It is, in fact, ILLEGAL to negiligently, and intentionally pass ANY std to someone. Which leads me to believe that I might be able to press criminal charges.

Negligence is not a crime. Negligence is a tort and tort cases are civil cases, not criminal cases. Winning a civil case is much easier than a criminal case and criminal cases pay nothing while civil cases do. You have no real say in a criminal case because it has to be waged by the prosecutor’s office on behalf of the state. Prosecutors pick and choose cases to file and in your case no crime seems to exist anywhere to begin with.

So what the lawyer said... I could sue him, but I probably wouldn't win due to my sordid past. Plus it is going to cost me between 2 and 4 thousand dollars on the low end to have an expert witness to say that he is the only possible suspect. Not to mention the damage to my psyche from being drilled by his lawyer about my sexual background..

“Sordid past”? Your past has no place in this case except for your medical history. You have no obligation to recall every sexual act since birth. There is only one issue on the table: this person negligently infected you with HSV. 2nd, what in the hell is he talking about??? You do not need an expert witness---this is not a criminal trial. You do not need proof “beyond reasonable doubt”. You only need a preponderance of evidence. You don’t need an expert witness---you need an expert lawyer who can read medical records. Let the defendant pay for some expert witness if they want to---and why would they bother? They’re better off giving you that money and settling the case. Why pay thousands of dollars in a CIVIL case with a LOW standard of proof, for some “expert witness” who your attorney can cross examine anyway and still risk losing the case and having to pay you in addition to paying the expert? Not good.

Talk to as many lawyers as you can.

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So all of us who have gotten herpes should have asked our partners to get tested before sleeping with them. Does that not put a shadow over our own defence at saying they didnt tell me, i didnt know. We should have asked and gotten them tested first? But we didnt. :confused:

Herpes cant be tested for in the uk, so it wouldnt have made a differnce. Only a visible sore which a swab can be taken from, and even in the US its not art of the standard STI screening. Unles you ask for it right??

Im just trying to understand thats all. :)

I understand what you're asking and I think it's an excellent question.

No. It doesn't put a shadow over it as you say. Their negligence is about their behavior. So any lawsuit you would make is dealing with them on their behavior and its wrecklessness.

Your going to the doctor is in part offensive (to protect you from their stuff) and defensive (to protect you from any future claim that you didn't disclose your status). But the offensive part is not considered "irresponsible" under the law if you don't do it. I mean first of all, it would mean poor people shouldn't have sex (in the US) because they don't have health insurance. 2nd it would mean that we had to have a sexual exam after every sexual encounter (also not feasible). BUT, for the offensive reason above it's still in your selfish interest to go to the doctor (clinic or whatever) and get the low down on the other person's health as best you can. The offensive reason for going to the doctor is for the selfish protection of yourself, not for preserving any legal right to sue somebody who negligently infects you---that legal right will be preserved for you anyway. But it's better to not get HSV and not need the legal right than to get HSV and have the legal right.

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Its better not to get hereps all round! lol But mistakes happen. (either through konwingly not not konwing in the first place)

But ok, that person had a responsability to his own health as well as those he slept with to ensure that he was not putting theirs (or his health) at risk and vice versa.

Just people dont realise that a full STI screen, doesnt not include everything (unles asked for... which here in the UK cant happen as we dont have the blood testing which I think is weird since US does) So they feel they are free of anything health risk in that area. I didnt know and it wasnt until I caught it that I started reading the information avaliable on the subject. But of course by then its too late and protection makes no damned difference when it comes to this! (well not much of one!)

Maybe they should put signs up in the doctors and health clincs saying that herpes is not part of the STI screen, if you want to be tested for herpes as well, please ask. Then they would know! :)

Thank you for the information!

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Its better not to get hereps all round! lol But mistakes happen. (either through konwingly not not konwing in the first place)

But ok, that person had a responsability to his own health as well as those he slept with to ensure that he was not putting theirs (or his health) at risk and vice versa.

Just people dont realise that a full STI screen, doesnt not include everything (unles asked for... which here in the UK cant happen as we dont have the blood testing which I think is weird since US does) So they feel they are free of anything health risk in that area. I didnt know and it wasnt until I caught it that I started reading the information avaliable on the subject. But of course by then its too late and protection makes no damned difference when it comes to this! (well not much of one!)

Maybe they should put signs up in the doctors and health clincs saying that herpes is not part of the STI screen, if you want to be tested for herpes as well, please ask. Then they would know! :)

Thank you for the information!

I tell you it is one of the weirdest realities to me----how in the US, the legal and medical professions have not gotten together to figure some of this stuff out. Doctors need to be trained differently. The American Medical Association needs to implement changes---Doctors are taught to only think about their patient sitting in front of them. They are not taught to order a test because it will benefit the patient's family (say a wife who may become exposed to herpes from the patient). But under tort law, they absolutely should. They are mostly taught to order tests for stuff you can cure, not for the value of knowing your health status and how to change the ways you have sex, and it's crazy to still be happening in 2008. Doctors try to "do no harm" and that becomes "don't order a test that gives the patient bad news when you can't cure it anyway". So they set the patient up to create another patient by unknowingly infecting somebody because their tests not including HSV came back negative.

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Posters up in waitnig rooms explaining it all!! Be rather helpful I feel.

Eventually this virus will become so widely spread that everyone will have it. Only was to prevent it is to have evryone tested and those of us with it banned for having intimate relationships with negative people. As if! lol (That was a joke btw :) )

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Well I talked to a lawyer today....

It is, in fact, NOT a personal injury case in Louisiana. It would have been a civil rights case.

It is, in fact, ILLEGAL to negiligently, and intentionally pass ANY std to someone. Which leads me to believe that I might be able to press criminal charges.

So what the lawyer said... I could sue him, but I probably wouldn't win due to my sordid past. Plus it is going to cost me between 2 and 4 thousand dollars on the low end to have an expert witness to say that he is the only possible suspect. Not to mention the damage to my psyche from being drilled by his lawyer about my sexual background.

So my idea, which I can't even do because he'd sue me... I want to post a picture of him, with his name and screen name with a disclaimer that reads as such: "This man gave me herpes. He lied about it, took the condom of without my permission, and continued to lie about it. WATCH OUT FOR THIS DANGEROUS PREDATOR."

*sigh* Maybe the criminal charges will go through... I just wish I could prevent this from happening to someone else.

Please, please talk to a different lawyer. They seem to only know half of the law.

Your past should not really matter.

If you want to talk to a "herpes lawyer" I have a contact, they will talk to you for free. Private message me or I will PM you their info tomorrow night. If you want, they might even take your case.

The expert witness thing does sound a bit iffy, but I was thinking more so because if the lawyer took it on a contingency fee basis, THEY pay for everything and don't get any money until you win.

Sounds like he wasn't going to do a contingency fee agreement or was doing a modified version of this.

I can't remember your specifics right now and I really should be doing other things, so I will write more later.

Tohealth: couldn't the "illegal" language be part of a Louisiana statute?

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Please, please talk to a different lawyer. They seem to only know half of the law.

Your past should not really matter.

If you want to talk to a "herpes lawyer" I have a contact, they will talk to you for free. Private message me or I will PM you their info tomorrow night. If you want, they might even take your case.

The expert witness thing does sound a bit iffy, but I was thinking more so because if the lawyer took it on a contingency fee basis, THEY pay for everything and don't get any money until you win.

Sounds like he wasn't going to do a contingency fee agreement or was doing a modified version of this.

I can't remember your specifics right now and I really should be doing other things, so I will write more later.

Tohealth: couldn't the "illegal" language be part of a Louisiana statute?

Sophie your intuition is exactly right and I was trying to reconcile it in my head. I decided to wait before posting but wanted to ask Tigger to ask the lawyer what the legal code (number) is that he's talking about (if he's actually talking about a code). I didn't find anything on doing any cursory research, Louisiana's individualism notwithstanding. But it would be awfully hard for me to believe this---because the bar would be set so high for the plaintiffs that nobody could sue really and public health is too critical of an asset for any state to operate like that. Plus, it didn't add up to me the way I read Tigger's post--if it's a "crime" then the cost of the expert would fall on the state anyway, not her--so what the hell was he talking about? Plus, the Meany v. Meany case is clearly a civil action---so I can't fathom what category of criminal case this could fit into (of course I don't know all the details she shared with the attorney either). But I agree with you. AND I'M GLAD YOU HAVE APPARENTLY FOUND SOME DECENT FOLKS TO TALK TO! If only we could bottle that formula....

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Hey gals: I'm not so sure you wouldn't need an expert in a civil claim. It's the plaintiff's burden to prove their case here. I do agree that the contingency fee thing should mean the expert is paid by the attorney and later that comes out of any recovery fee, so red flag there, but frankly what stunned me was the cost of the "expert." I used to litigate mass torts awhile ago and expert fees for medmal and other matters were upwards of $15,000.00. The numbers that lawyer gave implies to me that the "expert" is not much of an expert. :rolleyes: You know if someone tries to sell you a "genuine" Rolex for $400 it's probably not a bargain, but a knockoff instead. I agree she probably needs to talk to another lawyer ASAP. Just my two cents . . .

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via insurance claim?

The lawyers I've spoken with thus far have said that such an STD case would be filed as a claim through the infector's homeowner's insurance (which seemed quite odd to me). The complaint would be crafted as "negligence."

Apparently, many policies exclude STD-types of claims. If such an insurance action could not be pursued, then one could file a civil suit and target the infector's personal assets (if the lawyer would proceed thusly -- this one told me that he's found it often difficult to collect on personal assets).

Does anyone have any knowledge/experience in these matters?

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      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583
    • TamaraHelen12
      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583 ,,.,..
    • TamaraHelen12
      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583 ,,.,
    • TamaraHelen12
      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583 ,,.
    • TamaraHelen12
      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583 ,,..
    • TamaraHelen12
      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583 ..
    • TamaraHelen12
      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583 .
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      Still don’t know the right words to express my Gratitude to the Great Dr.Ace After been diagnosed of HERPES 1 and 2 VIRUS in Feb, i was given so many health prescription and advice with no improvement, I totally lost hope, until i found testimonies of Great Dr. Ace in an online research on Facebook, Like anybody would be, I was very skeptical about contacting him, but i later did and he opened up to me and told me what was involved and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, i was cured from herpes by the herbal medication I received from him. I never thought that herpes can be cured, from the bottom of my heart I’m truly grateful,i still do not know how it was cure it highly unbelievable it just just too real to be real i pray you have long life so you can help many more people on earth with your herbal medical support. i advice any one that is living with herpes virus should Contact the Great Dr Ace today, because it has the cure to any Disease Email him on Aceherbalcurehome@gmail.com or call him on +2348056391583
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