Portland Herpes Lawsuit $1.1 Million

Portland Herpes Lawsuit $1.1 Million, A Portland area woman is suing a man she dated for $1.1 million, claiming he gave her genital herpes after he failed to tell her he had the virus and had unprotected sex with her.

The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court last week, claims that the woman dated retired dentist David C. McMorine in April and May 2010, and they had sexual intercourse on May 25, 2010.

She later discovered she’d acquired the virus, which sometimes doesn’t display any symptoms, but other times manifests itself with painful blisters and aches or pains around the genital area. There is no cure, although medications can relieve symptoms and lessen the number of outbreaks.

The woman, who was about 50 when she dated the man, filed her lawsuit under the pseudonym Judy Johnson. McMorine said by phone Tuesday that he was “totally surprised” upon learning about the lawsuit from a reporter. He declined to comment at this time.

The suit faults him for failing to wear a condom and “failing to be aware that the Herpes virus was transmissible, regardless of whether or not the carrier of the virus is in the midst of an outbreak of lesions.”

People are rarely — if ever — criminally prosecuted for knowingly transmitting the herpes virus.

Randall Vogt, a Portland attorney who is representing the woman and specializes in representing alleged victims of sexual abuse, said people are rarely sued for transmitting the herpes virus because it is difficult to prove a case. Vogt said his client’s case is well-documented because she received a clean bill of health from her doctor shortly before having sex with the defendant.

In 1996, a 32-year-old Portland woman who claimed a stockbroker infected her with the disease without telling her he had the disease settled her Multnomah County lawsuit against him for $550,000. At the time, legal experts said it might have been the first case of its kind in Oregon and one of the largest settlements in the country for a case involving a sexually transmitted disease.

Since then, a few notable verdicts have soared into the millions of dollars. In March, a California appeals court rejected millionaire Thomas Redmond’s appeal of a jury’s verdict awarding his ex-girlfriend $6.75 million in damages, but lowered the award to more than $4 million. Patricia Behr contended that she told Redmond she was free of the disease, and he responded he was healthy, too.


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