Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
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Can I Sue My Partner for Giving me an STD?

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

You are well within your rights to sue and you can always sue your partner for negligence for giving you a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). A good medical malpractice attorney in Michigan will tell you Michigan, along with 30 other states, has a specific law that makes it a crime for someone who knows that they are HIV positive or knows that they have AIDS to have a sexual encounter with a partner without first disclosing this information.

There are several strategies used in lawsuits brought against wives, husbands, or significant others who knowingly transmitted an STD to a partner.

Expedited Partner Therapy

Michigan, like most states, has a law legalizing Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT).
Under EPT, healthcare providers treating someone for chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other STD status ailments in an infected person can give the patient medication for his or her sexual partner. The law is in place to help contain the disease.
If someone could have obtained the medicine but did not, this fact may bolster the chances of finding the individual negligent.

Proving Negligence

When suing for negligence damages due to contracting and STD caused by a partner, the plaintiff must prove that the partner had a duty to inform you or prevent the transmission.
Negligence does not require intent. Choosing not to have unprotected sex does not absolve someone from negligence either. Even if your partner used a condom, you might be able to recoup physical and monetary damages for negligence.

Criminal Charges

Even when the law does not specify criminal charges for a particular STD, the person who infected someone may be charged under another criminal statute.
For example, the Michigan supreme court law specifies infecting someone with HIV or AIDS without disclosure before the sexual act can result in criminal charges.
However, Michigan prosecutors can choose to charge a person with simple assault, aggravated assault, or battery for transmission of an STD of some other type.

Other Strategies

Your lawyer may recommend suing a partner for sexual battery if he or she infects you with an STD without first telling you about the infection. The argument your lawyer uses is that since your partner knew and did not disclose the STD infection, having sex with you equates to sexual battery.

Mich. Comp. Laws §333.5210(1) on HIV or AIDs Infection

The Michigan law regarding transmitting HIV or an AIDs infection clearly states that engaging in sexual penetration, as defined under Michigan law, with someone who has tested positive for HIV using a test considered reliable under federal standards, can result in arrest and possible conviction.

Donating Blood

Donating Blood

Under Michigan law, if someone that knows he or she is HIV infected and gives blood, that person may also be criminally liable.


Remember that although you may win the lawsuit, the judge may not necessarily award you much money in damages. Easily treated diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea may equate to an award to reimburse you for the costs of antibiotics and a doctor’s visit.
However, there are other types of compensatory damages the judge or jury may award you in the event you are unknowingly infected by your partner with an STD:

Emotional Distress

Getting diagnosed with an STD may have emotionally devastating consequences, especially when the person has developed a close, trusting bond with his or her wife, husband, or partner.
The aggrieved party can be compensated for any anxiety, loss of sleep, and other psychological effects the infection caused.

Loss of Enjoyment

If the infection caused you to avoid day-to-day activities that you usually enjoy, such as hobbies or other recreational activities, you might be compensated for the loss of enjoyment damages.

Income Loss

You can also be awarded damages for any income lost as a result of being infected.

Final Word

If you have suffered harm due to an STD infection you unknowingly received from your partner, call Eileen Kroll, a registered nurse and personal injury trial attorney, at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. at 866-MICH-LAW for a no obligation case evaluation. Our law firm never charges a fee unless a recovery is made.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Hannah Johnson has her Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs with a specialization in civic engagement. Her career has focused on labor-related research, including unions, workers' compensation, and contract law. She is now broadening her career to include research and policy analysis in East Asia, specifically in countries like South Korea and Japan where the aging population is creating a new frontier in economic trends and public policy innovation.



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