Every year tens of thousands of individuals contract or are sexually transmitted diseases. In most occasions the individual transmitting the infection does not know if its presence. However in some instances a sexual partner knows or should know that there is a possibility of passing on a deadly or harmful STD to another. Such cases are usually separated into two claims
- Claims where the defendant only exposed a sexual partner to HIV or other agents but the disease was not transmitted to the plaintiff. Such cases are predicated on damages based on the emotional trauma sustained by the victim.
- Claims where the defendant transmitted the harmful infection to a sexual partner resulting in harm to the individual. Such cases are based on physical harm due to the transmittal of the disease as well and the emotional pain and suffering resulting from the transmittal and exposure.
Our law firm is proud to represent individuals who have suffered grievous harm both physical and psychological due the intentional or wrongful actions of others. If you have any further questions after reading this article feel free to contact our law offices. All legal consultations are provided for free of charge.
Theories of Liability – Wining Your Case in the Court of Law
The state of California has imposed several criminal statutes to protect individuals from exposure to communicable diseases including STD’s. (1) It is a violation of state law to engage in unprotected sex when you know that you are infected with the HIV virus. (2) It is a misdemeanor to expose others to a communicable disease. (3) It is a felony in California to donate tissue when you know that you have an HIV infection.
General Civil Theories of Liability can include the Following:
- Battery: The defendant offensively touched (exposed) another person without consent resulting in harm to the individual. Thus the elements include; (a) offensiveness, (b) touching, (c) with not consent, (d) resulting in harm.
- Assault: The defendant intended to cause harmful or offensive contact, the plaintiff believed he was about to be touched in a harmful or offensive contact.
- Gross Recklessness: Where the defendant knew or should have know that his or her action would result in a relatively high probability of harm to another person, but made the calculated decision to take part in the action.
- Negligence: A negligence based theory of liability is predicated on proving four elements. Did the defendant owe a duty to the victim; did the defendant breach his of care; was the breach of duty of care cause the harm suffered; was there actual discernible injuries resulting from the breach of the duty of care.
Recovery Available for Victims – How Much Is My Case Worth
Individuals who have emotional harm and or have contracted a disease due to the intentional or reckless failure of a partner to reveal a venereal agent have the right to compensation for all damages suffered. A calculation of the average case value for such cases is dependent on several factors explained briefly below.
- The severity and magnitude of the harm suffered by the victim.
- Level of emotional distress and mental anguish from exposure to a deadly disease.
- Other typed of economic damages including lost pay and loss of future income due to the contraction an agent.
- Availability of Punitive Damages – courts have awarded punitive damages where the at fault party acted with either the intent to cause harm or acted in reckless indifference for the life and health of a sexual partner.
Attorney Consultation Available Free of Charge: If you have experienced severe emotional trauma and damages due to the failure of a sexual partner to reveal an STD or if you have contracted an STD due to the failure of your partner to disclose a venereal infection feel free to contact our law firm to learn more about your rights. All legal consultations are provided by our attorneys free of charge.