Thursday, August 12, 2010
The $7 Million Case of Herpes
Before I leave the topic of STD transmission and lawsuits, I want to share another case. This one took place in California last year, and involved a 56-year old woman catching genital herpes from a 77-year old man. Basically, he had a twenty five year history of genital herpes outbreaks, yet did not disclose this history nor did he wear a condom. He is a very wealthy man, king of a hair product empire, and well-off enough to give his girlfriend a BMW as a gift (which she was allowed to keep, along with the $7 million.)
Now, I do not know all the details of this case. Was his quarter of a century battle with herpes recent, or in his remote past? If he had worn a condom, would that have made a difference? If you get herpes from someone who is a college student (rather than a multi-millionaire business man), how much will you be awarded?
Here is what I think is important:
1. Please note the AGES- 77 and 56!
2. Note that he had a recurring disease for over 25 years- these are not trivial infections...
3. This is a smart, educated, very successful man with full knowledge of his disease, yet he chose not to disclose.
4. Condoms cover only part of the anatomy, and herpes is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, so condoms HELP but do not 100% prevent herpes.
5. He was indeed, held LIABLE.
BOTTOM LINE: To REPEAT YET AGAIN, STDs can occur across any age, race, gender, or socio-economic boundaries- Buyer BeWARE!