Judge moves herpes lawsuit to Rock County

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Thursday, March 15, 2012
— A $350,000 lawsuit filed by a Delavan woman against a man she says gave her herpes is moving to Rock County Court.

Walworth County Judge John Race in late 2011 ordered the change of venue, which was finalized earlier this month. The defendant's attorney filed a motion to move the case to Rock County because the defendant is an Edgerton resident and because the woman claims she was infected with HSV-2 during sexual activity that took place in Janesville in 2010.

The 36-year-old man admits having a brief romantic relationship with the 34-year-old woman in 1998 but says they have not had sexual contact since, according to court documents filed by his attorney.

Because of the sensitive medical nature of the claims, the Gazette is not identifying the plaintiff or defendant.

A copy of the woman's test results included in the case file does not clearly indicate whether she tested positive for HSV-1 or HSV-2, according to the motion.

HSV-2 is the herpes simplex virus most often associated with genital herpes as opposed to HSV-1, which is more often associated with cold sores on the lips and face, according to federal Centers for Disease Control data. The two viruses can overlap, according to the data.

The case is scheduled for a motion hearing May 16.

According to the complaint the woman filed in July, the man had a legal responsibility to inform her before infecting her with HSV-2. She holds his insurance companies liable as well, according to court documents.

Since she was tested positive for HSV-1 and -2 in May 2011, the woman has experienced muscle ache, fever, intense itching and genital sores, anxiety attacks, insomnia, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and depression.

She also has suffered emotional distress because her husband has been unable and reluctant to have sexual relations with her, according to court documents.

The infection has made her unable to work as a registered nurse, according to court documents.

According to the complaint filed by the woman, the two had a sexual relationship in late 1997 and early 1998. Then for two years starting in June 2009, they had a mutual relationship that included phone calls, emails, flirting and multiple meetings.

Both were married, according to court documents.

In January 2011, a year after the sexual contact during which the woman says she was infected, the man called the woman's husband. The man has genital herpes, he told the husband, according to court documents. The woman tested positive several months later, and her husband tested negative for HSV-2, according to the complaint.

In May 2011, before she filed the lawsuit, the woman tried to press criminal charges against the 36-year-old man. A Janesville police officer told her Wisconsin does not have a criminal statute for intentionally exposing and infecting a person with HSV-2, according to court documents.

Last updated: 7:56 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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