It may not be the most romantic way to open a first date but, as one Oregon man recently discovered, failing to fully disclose a sexually transmitted disease to a potential lover can cost you. This week a jury awarded a woman $900,000 in damages after she contracted genital herpes from a man she was dating. The couple reportedly met on the dating website eHarmony and, by the fourth date, had sex. The woman, who filed suit under a pseudonym, claimed that her date knew that he was carrying the disease but didn’t tell her until after they had consummated the relationship.
While such lawsuits aren’t exactly common, this isn’t the first time someone has cashed in after being knowingly infected by an STD-carrying lover. In 2009, a California jury awarded nearly $7 million to a 56-year-old woman who unknowingly contracted herpes from a 77-year-old man who neglected to tell her that he had lived with the disease for 25 years. In 2010, another California woman was awarded $2.5 million in damages after contracting the same disease from her cheating husband.
Over the years, several celebrities have found themselves in the hot seat. Robin Williams, Tony Bennett and Frank Vick have all been sued for allegedly infecting their former lovers with herpes. (Williams and Vick both settled out of court, while Bennett countersued.)
Moral of the story: It’s better to have kissed and told, than to have loved and lost… in court.