Sexual encounters don’t usually end up in court.
That wasn’t the case for a 49-year-old Oregon woman who sue a retired dentist, claiming that she contracted genital herpes from him during sex.
A jury found in her favor and awarded her $900,000 in damages, the Associated Press reports.
According to the lawsuit, the unidentified woman — who used a pseudonym in court papers – contacted the man through eHarmony, the Internet-dating website.
On their fourth date, the woman claimed she and the dentist had sex. Afterwards, she alleged that he informed her that he had herpes. When she discovered that she was infected, she sued for negligence and sexual battery, claiming he should have disclosed his condition prior to having sex with her.
The 69-year-old retired dentist, whose name was withheld in court papers, admitted that he had known that he was infected with herpes since 1991, but didn’t realize he was contagious at the time he had sex with the woman.
The retired dentist’s attorney said the woman was negligent for failing to make him use a condom.
However, jurors didn’t buy the argument, telling local reporters that they felt the dentist had a responsibility to inform the woman that he was infected.
Most lawsuits relating to herpes don’t make it to trial, though a 1996 suit was settled for $550,000.