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Man Has To Pay $900,000 For Giving Lady Herpes

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A jury has awarded an Oregon woman $900,000 for pain and suffering after she contracted genital herpes from a man she met on eHarmony. While the man's lawyer argued she should have demanded that he put on a condom during sex, a juror said, "We all felt he should have told her" that he had herpes—"he had the responsibility to tell her."

The woman, a 49-year-old divorced dental hygienist, met the 69-year-old retired dentist on the online dating site. After four dates, they had "hors d'oeuvres, wine and a few puffs of pot " and then had sex. The woman's lawyer, Randall Vogt, says she offered him a condom from her nightstand, but, "The next thing she knew, he was on top of her" without a condom.

According to the LA Times, "Very shortly afterward, he said, the man told her he had herpes, though he was not suffering lesions at the time. Vogt said the virus is transmissible not only when there are obvious lesions, but when the virus is in a “shedding” phase with no outward signs." Vogt said, "I argued that the reason he told her [after the fact] was that he had a guilty conscience about what he had just done." His client contracted herpes and had painful outbreaks, as well as anxiety and depression.

The woman, who came down with herpes within 11 days, and suffered not only painful outbreaks, but anxiety and clinical depression, decided to sue. However, the retired dentist claimed he didn't realize he was contagious while his lawyer tried to suggest that she contracted the disease from someone else, "Grow up. Come on. You’re an adult. He’s an adult. They had sex. The point is, she is not some innocent little victim."

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The jury ultimately found the man 75% responsible and the woman 25% responsible. Vogt told the Oregonian that his client is a "heroine" for going forward with the case, "Ninety-nine percent of the people who find themselves in (her) situation simply wring their hands and do nothing. They know if they file a lawsuit, it's going to be hotly contested. It's going to be embarrassing. It's going to be massively unpleasant."