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Can You Sue Someone For an STD?

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in my very personal opinion-i say yes and no-their is risk involved in everything we do-including sex-the only way to to avoid catching an STD via sex is to abstain totally from any form. though if u share a drink with someone u could catch oral herpes and it become an STD even though didn't participate in sex. i think in cases of rape-yes u should be able to sue--u obviously had no choice and the risk was forced upon u--i think in cases of a deadly std--yes if the person had previously been diagnosed and there was evidence that could prove that. but in most instances we have choice-we can ask the other person to get tested and if they refuse to get tested for us then that may raise a red flag and we don't have to have sex with them. if there was no evidence of a previously deadly std then its highly unlikely that u would have any case in court--becuz where is ur evidence? some people don't get tested regularly bcuz they don't care or don't know better. under the circumstances u have to be the ultimate decision maker.

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I'm a pre-law student, so I looked this up.

A few states have criminal statutes against nondisclosure of herpes, but most don't.

Civilly, you can be sued for spreading herpes if:

1.) You know you have it

2.) You don't tell your partner

3.) Your partner contracts it

4.) There is no doubt that you were the one who gave it to your partner.

The case won't go anywhere if it was casual sex, and taking precautions such as antivirals and condoms is sometimes used as a defense for nondisclosure. If it was someone you were involved with for a long time, the courts will be more in the favor of the person who wasn't disclosed to, regardless of precautions.

A few people have sued successfully, so look up a firm that specializes in negligence, fraud, and misrepresentation.

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Ahhh what states would those be?

The fact that the virus can lay dormant in your system for up to decades leaves d) in your list to be ludicrous.

There is not a single state (or country) where disclosure is legally or medically required so how can someone be legally liable for not telling? That makes absolutely no sense. And suing for contracting a virus that 1 in 4 or even 1 in 3 carry? Even more ludicrous.

This whole thing makes no sense. A rational, level-headed judge would throw any herpes-related law suit out in a minute.

"The case won't go anywhere if it was casual sex, and taking precautions such as antivirals and condoms is sometimes used as a defense for nondisclosure. If it was someone you were involved with for a long time, the courts will be more in your favor, regardless of precautions."

What authorities do you have for this?

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Yes, you can sue someone ONLY IF they never told you that they had an STD. My mother and I were having a discussion about this yesterday. She even told me that as soon as your doctor knows that you have a STD, they HAVE to put your name into a database so that you are registered...sounds kind of wack (as if we are inmates or something) but yeah...you can


just out of curiousity--where are your sources for the database if you have an STD? if it is so, then it is, but i've just never heard of such a thing. i could understand with HIV since now it is mainly spread via sex since precautions are available to screen via blood and organ donations (though that doesn't always work). i've had to fill out special waivers when getting tested for HIV saying that it would be reported to some special authority if i tested positive for HIV. but for nothing else. it just kind of sounds like a gossipy misnomer in my opinion. so if u test positive for HSV 1 and 2 via bloodwork your name would be put into a database even though u may have never had an ob? what if u had both orally? the whole database just sounds a little hokey to me.

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The idea isn't to report on deadly diseases, it's to report on damaging ones. The longer that herpes is in your body, the less damage it does because it gets milder (no permanent damage, so to speak). The longer that you have syphilis (it's syphilis, not chlamydia -- I misspoke earlier) or gonorrhea in your body, the more damage it does - infertility, insanity, etc. So if someone is running around passing them and the other person doesn't know that they get it and, for example, that person ends up with permanent damage. So it's in everyone's best interest to catch these early on. Hope that helps.

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  • 4 years later...

Should I sue

If I got herpes from receiving oral sex and asked before receiving it,the 3rd party denied at the time said she tested negative before. and then tested positive after, and if i test positive but my gf is negative and i haven't had sex with her after the incident with the other person happened that is solid basis for proof correct?

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A few things:

-Did you test negative before the encounter? If not then you could possibly be blamed for transmitting to the other person if you are now both positive;

-Blood tests are not always 100% accurate; the encounter could've tested negative but not waiting long enough after an encounter for her to have HSV show up and may have actually believed she was negative;

-Your gf being negative has nothing to do with anything because you could've had it, not know and not given it to her.

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The short answer to your question is "No, you should not". The longer answer can be found in a couple of the more recent threads in the Justice and the Law section.

For one, as UserID noted, the situation you described does not constitute proof in the slightest that the "3rd party" has given you this. You could have had herpes for years and not have ever given it to your girlfriend. Conversely, if your girlfriend tests positive (and statistically speaking, that's very likely, considering more than 60 percent of adult women will), that is not evidence that you didn't get it from the 3rd party. To put it simply, you can't know.

That you would think your girlfriend's status has a bearing on the situation suggests to me that you have a lot to learn about herpes. Perhaps once you have done a little bit more research on what herpes actually is, you might start to realize why attempting to sue somebody over it is more than a little silly.

Even if the 3rd Party gave you the virus, something completely unprovable, it's very possible that she didn't know that she had it.

She says she has tested negative, but to what? Since you got this from oral sex (if you did indeed get this from her), most likely it is HSV-1. It's very possible that she had only been tested for HSV-2, come out negative, and had no idea that she had oral herpes. Or, she may have known that she had cold sores, but have had no idea that cold sores are in fact herpes, and can be transmitted to the genitals. Surprisingly few people in the English-speaking world do.

Anyway, that you think getting herpes is something worth suing over is a sad indication of how out of control the stigma has gotten.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's incredibly ridiculous to even entertain the thought of suing over cold sores...BUT here in America we love to sue. The truth is you can sue for anything. Sue Marlboro for giving you lung cancer, sue mcdonalds for making you obese, sue the person on the sunway who sneezed on you and gave you a cold.......you get my point. The problem with herpes is, it is extremely common but the general knowledge about it is pitiful. It is never included in an std panel, so most people are cluless to their status. Since most people have never been tested, once they test positive, its only a guess as to who gave it to them. Unless you are a nun who was raped or going after a rich celebrity who will settle out of court to shut you up, I'd say it is almost impossible case to win. You hear about the rare case of someone winning, but look at OJ and Casey Anthony. The justice system is far from perfect. In a nutshell, Yes you can sue over herpes. No I wouldnt recommend it.

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  • 2 months later...

I did....he settled out of court....as soon as my lawyer requested/examined his medical records. It was quite some time ago. Have spent the last 4 years battling with resurrent aseptic meningits...too many to count...verified by PCR....should have sued for more!!

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  • 2 months later...

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      Thanks for the answer, Wilson. Sorry for taking long to come back here, didn't really have the time to sit down on my computer and I've been trying to not think much about it.  I took a blood test and I'm waiting for the result. As of now, the redness covers a slightly bigger area and I feel some occasional itches. It definitely isn't herpes but at this point I've already accepted I have something, nothing like this ever happened before and honestly? If anything comes positive, I deserve it.  Maybe I'll come back with a current picture for the people that may end up in this post in the future. I will come back with the results as well, of course! I looked a lot into this forum and other people's stories have certainly opened my eyes to many things in life, so I'm thankful for that too!
    • WilsoInAus
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    • AlexUobby
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    • WilsoInAus
      Hello @Lou_95 and thank you for taking the time and having the bravery to come forward to seek help. I hope you find some assistance and find solace.  What has occurred here happens to many couples and it is important to note that it highly likely that this has absolutely no questions surrounding fidelity etc. The first thing to note is that your assumption is the other way around. When a person has their first herpes outbreak, then it is extremely likely that they have been just infected by the other party. Herpes does not wait around taking its own sweet time to cause an outbreak. When first infected, you are in a sense 'defenceless' against the virus so havoc can be wreaked - well the lesions that you experienced. If your partner is quite sure they have not been infected genitally with herpes in the past, then the most rational explanation is as follows. Your partner may well have an oral HSV-1 infection that causes oral cold sores, even if he has no living memory of cold sores! You hence may have become infected through oral sex about 2-6 days before you noticed the sores. Your diagnosis may have included the type of herpes involved, was it 1 or 2?  If my guess above is right, then you both now carry HSV-1 and cannot technically reinfect each other, or at least give your immune 6 months to get up to full speed. He is now already immune and is incredibly unlikely (if there is any chance at all) of becoming infected genitally). If this is the story, then that's kind if it for you two, no need to worry at all about issues of protection or antivirals etc. However hopefully you have the type data to proceed to that stage quickly. Otherwise it might be useful for an additional test by either you or he or both.  
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