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Herpes Lawsuit

A Beaverton woman won a $900,000 lawsuit against the man who she says gave her herpes. This is the first time that a case like this — where one person sued another for intentionally transmitting herpes — went to trial in Oregon.

The couple met on an online dating website and had unprotected sex on their fourth date. Their real names were not revealed as part of the lawsuit.

After deliberating, the jury found that the man was 75 percent at fault for negligence and the woman was 25 percent to blame. The woman was ultimately awarded nearly the entire sum she requested on a battery charge. The jury said the man intentionally harmed the woman by giving her herpes. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in six American adults have the infection.

If you contracted a sexually transmitted infection, would you consider suing? Do you have a concern about the precedent this case sets?


  • Randall Vogt: Defense attorney and attorney for the plaintiff
  • David VanSpeybroeck: Civil defense attorney and partner with Sussman Shank
  • Caroline Forell: Clayton R. Hess law professor at University of Oregon

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OPB | June 11, 2012