Woman sues ex-lover over herpes infection

March 27, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

Lawyers for an unidentified woman have filed a $40 million civil lawsuit against her former boyfriend from Havre de Grace, alleging that she contracted genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease, because he failed to tell her he was infectious.

Susan R. Green of Baltimore and Ellenora deWaal van der Ham of Glen Burnie, the attorneys for the plaintiff, also filed a motion that would allow the woman to use the pseudonym of "Jane Roe" to remain anonymous.

A judge would have to sign a protective order on that motion, effectively sealing any court records referring to the woman by her real name.

Ms. Green said she has been successful in similar cases involving women who contracted herpes, a treatable but incurable decease.

In most, but not all instances, she said, her clients have been permitted to remain anonymous.

The lawsuit alleges that "Jane Roe" had an intimate relationship with the defendant between the summer of 1989 and August 1992.

The lawsuit further contends that the man never told the woman that he had the herpes virus, which is contagious and sexually transmittable when it is in active phase, that he knew he had the disease and that it was in an active stage in August 1992.

The plaintiff contends that she did not have sexual relations with anyone else during her relationship with the defendant and that her doctor confirmed on Aug. 21, 1992, that she had contracted genital herpes.

The woman's lawsuit asks for $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages on each of four counts: fraud, intentional infliction of emotional stress, negligence and assault and battery.

Attempts to talk with the defendant were not successful because he has an unpublished telephone number and apparently has not yet hired an attorney.

At least one celebrated case of this sort was settled out of court recently when actor-comedian Robin Williams reportedly paid an undisclosed amount to Michelle Tish Carter.

Ms. Carter, a cocktail waitress, charged that Mr. Williams had failed to tell her he was infected with herpes before having sex with her. She had demanded $6.2 million.

Mr. Williams did not deny having had an affair with Ms. Carter several years earlier but did not acknowledge or deny that he was infected with herpes.

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