66 East Main Street, 3rd Floor Little Falls, NJ 07424

Unprotected Sex Results in $250K Non-Dischargeable Debt

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Background:

  • 2 Single Adults began dating.
  • One recently divorced knew he had herpes.
  • Man confessed he had 2 restraining orders against him; female felt that showed he was an honest man and kept up the relationship
  • Before having sex for the 1st time, she asked her mate if he had anything else to confess, e.g. sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Man said emphatically “NO”
  • Months later Female discovered she had herpes and felt they had a bond with this incurable disease due to his wife.
  • Later the man admitted that his former wife was not to blame.
  • Woman discontinued the relationship.
  • Man filed bankruptcy
  • Woman filed a complaint contending her damages from contracting herpes were not dischargeable.

Court Ruling:

  • Woman proved a claim under state law for fraud
  • Awarded $50K in punitive damages
  • Awarded $50K in compensatory
  • Awarded $150K for pain and suffering
  • Determined non-discharge ability: non-dischargeable under inflicting a “willful and malicious injury” and for willful and malicious injury.

Woman should have run when she found out that he had 2 restraining orders against him but she did  not cut it off early in the relationship.    This should have been a red flag as to his character but she gave him another chance.

Bankruptcy does not forgive infecting someone intentionally with herpes.

  • (ABI Journal – 12/5/2018)