Mark Twain once said that that “I remember Muscatine for its sunsets” which he insisted was unparalleled in the world. Now, the town may be better known in legal circles for a difference kind of distinction. In what may be a record for an STD case, a jury in Muscatine, Iowa, awarded Karly Rossiter $1.5 million after Alan Evans gave her genital warts. She claimed that Evans assured her that he was free of sexually transmitted diseases.
Rossiter and Evans began dating in December 2004. Only a few days after they had relations, Evans asked if she was tested for A papilloma virus, which causes genital warts. By 2005, she had developed the condition.
STD lawsuits are increasing common. There is an obvious assumption of the risk defense in negligence and consent in intentional tort. However, the failure to discuss — or misrepresentation — can lead to liability ranging from battery to fraud to negligence. Well known figures like Robin Williams Michael Vick have been the subject of such lawsuit. Once reluctant to rule on such cases, courts now treat the failure to disclose as a conventional tort. These damages, however, are much larger than average.
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