A new tort in California?

Friday, April 07, 2006
Should someone be held liable for negligent transmission of a sexually transmitted disease?

The California Supreme Court is considering this issue in a case titled John B. v. Superior Court (Bridget B.). Bridget B. claims that her husband, named only as John B., infected her with HIV soon after they married in July 2000.

The facts alleged in the case are odd because Bridget tested HIV positive four months after she discovered by accident that her husband had tested negative. Less than a year later, according to the complaint, John had developed full-blown AIDS and Bridget learned that before and during their marriage he had engaged in unprotected sex with several gay men.

Bridget then concluded that John had infected her. She sued for fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress, claiming John knew or should have known that he had HIV, and she sought discovery into John's sexual history.

A decision in the case is expected within 90 days.


Knucklehead said...

JMO, but I think folks should be liable for all negligent sexual transmissions ;) (and non-negligent ones for that matter)

Rick Ballard said...

Man, if she gets this into court and wins, the SF Superior Court docket is going to be a bit crowded for the next twenty years.

I'd say they'll have to appoint a Special Master but I don't think that terminology is allowed in SF. 'Special Transgendered Guide to an Equitable Yet Sensitive Solution Solution'?

Rick Ballard said...

Oops! That should be "Person, if she...". How careless of me.