The California Court of Appeals recently upheld a jury's verdict that a millionaire is responsible for $6.75 million in damages for infecting his ex-girlfriend with herpes.
According to court documents, before they had sex for the first time in 2003, Thomas Redmond and his then girlfriend Patricia Behr told each other that they were "free of disease" and "healthy."
However, Redmond, then 71, first learned he had herpes in 1975. Redmond, while never disclosing his disease, did tell Behr that he had a penile implant because of prostate cancer.
It was not until four months after they had unprotected sex that Redmond acknowledged he had herpes.
Redmond, who made his fortune with the Aussie line of hair-care products, had asked the court to throw out the verdict on the grounds that it was impossible to prove that he was the one who had infected Behr.
ABC News reported that multi-million dollar lawsuits for herpes transmission are not without precedent.
The most famous cases include Tony Bennett, who was sued for $90 million for infecting a partner with herpes in 1985; Robin Williams, sued for $6.2 million in 1986; and Michael Vick, sued for an unknown sum in 2005. Williams and Vick settled out of court. Bennett produced medical records claiming he did not have herpes, and countersued for defamation for $100 million.
But court proceedings for lawsuits like Behr's can be a grueling process.
"People's sexual history is dragged out [in court]. Opposing counsel is going to scour the playing field to find previous partners … [to] find any other partners that had this disease to raise the specter of doubt," Behr's attorney David Baron told ABC.
Attorneys at Ross Feller Casey, LLP have built a nationally recognized reputation for their impressive track record of victories in personal injury cases.
Noteworthy examples include:
• $85 million for a man who fractured his spine after falling through an open manhole
• $51 million verdict for a 4-year-old boy whose foot was torn off in a SEPTA escalator
• $36.4 million recovery for the family of a man killed in a Delaware oil refinery explosion
• $30 million recovery for a 10-year-old girl paralyzed by a defectively designed lap belt
• $29.5 million recovery in the Pier 34 collapse case
• $22.9 million recovery in a spinal cord injury case
• $22 million medical malpractice verdict for a brain injury during child birth
• $20.8 million verdict for an amputation injury
• $18.4 million verdict for a child who suffered a stroke
• $13 million recovery for a man who suffered a brain injury in a truck accident
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