Jury Verdict in Favor of Woman Infected With Herpes
Jury Verdict in Favor of Woman Infected with Herpes
The Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman recently prevailed at a jury trial in Richmond County (Staten Island) Supreme Court on a claim of intentional battery. In this trial, it was proven that our client was infected with HSV Type 2 (genital herpes). With its verdict, the jury rejected the defendant’s efforts to paint our client as a manipulator who used the legal system to obtain a quick, unjustified payday.
The jury in this matter was charged with both negligence and intentional battery. The judge instructed the jury that if it were to find the defendant liable at all, it could only be under one of the claims. Had the jury found that the defendant negligently transmitted this disease to our client, it would have rejected the theory that he had intentionally harmed her by an illegal touching. However, the jury agreed that the defendant did in fact transmit this disease intentionally and without her informed consent. Our client made clear that she would not have had sex with the defendant had she known he was infected.
The Defendant Kicked and Screamed Until Finally Being Dragged to Trial
Rather than agree to a pre-trial settlement, the defendant dragged out this litigation in an effort to get our client drop her claims. The defendant repeatedly threatened the plaintiff with a public trial, insinuating that a jury would find the plaintiff’s diagnosis to be fictitious and her damages negligible. Instead, the jury came back with a swift decision. The message sent by the jury was clear: plaintiffs who are left with lifelong pain, suffering, embarrassment and humiliation, are entitled to their day in court and should not be bullied out of seeking justice.
Knowingly Transmitting a Venereal Disease is Not Just a Civil Wrong — it is a Crime
While this is an unusual litigation it is not novel. The knowing transmission of a sexually transmittable disease is actually a crime in New York pursuant to the New York Public Health Laws. Pursuant to New York Public Health Law § 2307, any person who knowingly infects another with an infectious venereal disease is guilty of a misdemeanor. As such, suing for compensatory and punitive damages for a criminal act is not uncommon.
What is Herpes Simplex Virus 2?
Genital herpes (HSV-2) is an incurable sexually transmitted disease characterized by groups of small red bumps that develop into blisters on the genitals. Over the following two to three weeks, the blisters can rupture into painful, open sores. In approximately 70% of woman, additional symptoms develop such as flu-like discomfort, headaches, muscle aches, fever, and swollen glands. Women may also experience a vaginal discharge. In the first year of infection, most people experience approximately four outbreaks. Although what triggers outbreaks is, as yet, not completely understood, several factors have been associated with the onset of symptoms: sunlight, wind, fever, physical injury, surgery, menstruation, suppression of the immune system, and emotional stress.
Do Not Be a Victim — Fight For Your Rights
If someone has knowingly infected you with a sexually transmitted disease, you do not have to be a victim and simply suffer the consequences. Our office has negotiated over $5 million in settlements for individuals who have been sexually harassed in the workplace or otherwise abused by individuals. And, evidenced by our recent success in Richmond County, our attorneys are prepared to convince a jury that victims of such wrongdoing are entitled to damages. Call the top New York civil attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman today to enforce your rights; we can be reached at (212) 581-1001.
Jeffrey Lichtman has received the highest rating (AV) from the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory, is recognized in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers and has also been selected as a New York City Super Lawyer for being a leader in his field of criminal defense. Mr. Lichtman has received a rating of 10.0/10 Superb rating from Avvo Lawyer Directory and was profiled in the New York Daily News, The New York Times as part of the “Public Lives” series, New York Magazine and Ozy. .