Suing for Herpes: Case Settles for Seven Figures

The Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman recently settled a civil case brought in Federal Court in New York for fraud, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, battery, and future medical expenses due to the defendant transmitting genital herpes (HSV-2) to our client while they were dating. The settlement is confidential but we can report that the amount was in the seven figure range.

Successfully Suing for a Herpes Transmission Is Not an Easy Task

Suing someone for giving you herpes can be very difficult: first, it can be horribly embarrassing to sue someone in open court and have the most intimate details about your sexual history, your sex life and the horrible mental and physical impact of this sexually transmitted disease revealed publicly. Next, it is difficult to prove this cause of action: a plaintiff needs to prove that either the defendant knowingly transmitted the disease to her without disclosing the condition, or should have known he had it and transmitted it. Even if a plaintiff can prove the defendant had genital herpes at the time they had sex, it can be hard to prove that the defendant was the person who transmitted it. After all, it’s not like every woman tests for STDs the day before she has sex with a new partner – so how can one prove that the defendant was the person who transmitted it when the effects of the transmission can remain dormant for months or even years? Proving much of this may require a plaintiff to contact prior sex partners, in order to confirm that it was not that person who transmitted the disease – a horribly uncomfortable prospect to most people.

The Case We Just Settled

In this case, we had an additional very difficult barrier to overcome: the defendant had never been diagnosed with HSV-2 by a doctor or tested positive for genital herpes in his life – and had never had a herpes breakout. So with all of these difficult factors in place, we were required to build a circumstantial case against the defendant.

Not surprisingly, the defendant made what we considered to be a very lowball offer of $125,000 after the lawsuit was filed and maintained that position for two years. Before the depositions were to begin, the offer was doubled to $250,000, still a very low number in our opinion. Once the defendant was deposed, however, things changed dramatically. After Mr. Lichtman completed just one-third of his examination outline, in about two hours of real time deposition questioning, the case ended with a seven figure settlement. The moral of the story: having a tenacious criminal lawyer who has cross-examined some of the most well-prepared government witnesses in the most high-profile of criminal trials helps in a civil litigation. And not only have we won trials against defendants who have transmitted genital herpes to our clients but we’ve managed to secure yet another seven figure settlement for sexual harassment or genital herpes victims.

Do Not Be a Victim — Fight For Your Rights Instead

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 multiple seven figure settlements for individuals who have been sexually harassed in the workplace or been afflicted with genital herpes, as well as winning such trials. Having a top New York trial lawyer in your corner, along with a top reputation for skill and tenacity makes a big difference in these types of cases.  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. .