Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Claim vs baseball star for exposure to HIV

An ex-girlfriend of former major league baseball player Roberto Alomar has filed a lawsuit alleging Alomar insisted on unprotected sex for four years despite showing obvious signs of HIV. She is seeking at least $15 million in punitive damages. Alomar's lawyer has told the New York Daily News the allegations are "frivolous and baseless." The plaintiff claims she started to date Alomar in 2002 and had unprotected sex for the next four years. She says that Alomar refused to get tested for HIV, despite what she claims were signs associated with AIDS. She says that Alomar finally tested positive for HIV in February 2006 and that follow-up exams determined that he had full-blown AIDS. The plaintiff, however has tested negative. These claims raise a couple of interesting questions. First of all, it is not clear to me what is the basis of the claim. Is it battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress? Also, assuming all the allegations are true, given that the plaintiff has not tested positive for HIV, what is the injury? Without more information, it seems that the result of the claim will hinge on whether she can recover merely for the emotional distress at finding out that she had been exposed to HIV rather than having to show that she was infected with HIV. Jurisdictions are split on that question. Also, if she knew of the problem back in 2002, why did she continue to have unprotected sex with the defendant for four years? Should the court find that her own conduct, at some point, gives rise to a defense based on assumption of the risk? The full story is available here. Thanks to Alexandros Stamatoglou for the information

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