California has had some alarming numbers and statistics involving sexually transmitted diseases over the years – it is no wonder that people have become concerned about their well being. The number of newly reported gonorrhea and syphilis cases have only skyrocketed in 2013, according to the state Department of Public Health. The problem with this is that STDs are preventable, so why have the numbers increased so drastically? In California, Chlamydia is known to be one of the most common of many STDs, with approximately 440 per 100,000 people in 2012. Nearly one-third of those cases were in Los Angeles County, which is terrifying and alarming news for many people in the area. However, there are many ways to prevent oneself from receiving an STD, like practicing safe sex with condom use and being tested regularly.
All over the United States, STDs are essentially an issue and this is where lawsuits come into play. They can lead to civil and criminal liability cases depending on the law of the jurisdiction in which state it occurred. In some cases, a partner will fail to disclose information regarding an STD to somebody, in which liability comes walking in. This leads to the STD transmission being an intentional act where prevention would have played a huge part.
Negligence and Battery
- Negligence: Negligence applies to causing harm to another person in a careless and reckless fashion. When it comes to STDs, those carrying have a duty to not infect others and spread the disease further. If someone spreads an STD, negligence can result in a lawsuit. If an individual is spreading the disease unintentionally and did not know, then a lawsuit will probably not bring favorable results.
- Battery: Battery is seen as an intentional tort and is one of the more common results in a lawsuit revolving around STDs. If an individual has sexual relations with another person with the intent of passing an STD, it is very likely that battery occurred. The liable party may be found guilty and have to compensate the partner for their injuries.
Criminal Liability for STD Transmission
Criminalizing an STD transmission deals largely upon the infecting party’s prior knowledge of the STD. However, you have to ask yourself: Can a person who didn’t know they were sick be charged with a crime? In some cases, the person truly did not know because there has been no diagnosis and outward symptoms of the STD. Laws have generally been written to prevent criminal charges stemming against those that weren’t aware that they were a carrier. However, there are laws set against those who are clearly disturbed and have proven intent and malice to deliberately infect another individual. This results in criminal liability for battery and liability for breaking specific criminal statutes. In some cases, it even leads to an attempted murder due to the severity and prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
The problem is that some STDs are curable and so many believe that a lawsuit may not be worth the trouble. Curable STDs such as Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia generally do not result in damages. Lawsuits can be expensive and intrusive, which many people may fail to forget when they haven’t taken the time to think things over. You never know if the potential recovery is worth the cost of it all, including the time you will put into the suit.
If you believe somebody has intentionally passed on an STD to you, you may have a case. Contact a personal injury attorney that you can trust to handle your case in the California area. Call WTW today for a consultation and case review. You deserve compensation if somebody with malicious intentions has hurt you unjustly!