Can You File A Lawsuit Against A Sexual Partner For Transmitting A STD?

Depending on your local and state laws, there is a possibility that you could file a civil lawsuit against a sexual partner that gave you a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. STDs are not uncommon, but filing a lawsuit based on the transmission of one is. If you plan to file a suit, there are some things you need to know. 


Personal injury lawsuits are based on proving that another person or organization behaved in a negligent manner that resulted in harm to another. In this instance, you could argue that your sexual partner negligently infected you with a disease. Being unaware that he or she had the disease is usually not a solid defense. 

In personal injury law, there is an assumption that safety precautions are taken to prevent injuries to others. Your partner had the responsibility for using protection that would limit the chances that he or she would transmit a disease. The responsibility is still there even if the existence of the disease was unknown. 


Being able to prove that someone gave you a STD is not enough. Personal injury law has an additional component that needs to be met. You have to show that the STD caused you injury. 

For instance, if you received Chlamydia from a partner and it led to infertility, you could prove injury. However, if the disease was discovered in time and you were treated for it, there is a good chance that your case cannot move forward. 

The presence of negligence and injury might not be enough to make your case worth it. In the past, civil lawsuits were usually successful in cases that involved incurable diseases such as HIV. Curable diseases usually do not have enough damages associated with them that makes filing a lawsuit worth it to the plaintiff. 

Criminal Cases

There is a possibility that you could pursue criminal charges against your sexual partner. There have been a number of high profile cases involving the transmission of STDs that resulted in criminal prosecution. For instance, a Washington man was sentenced to 45 years for knowingly spreading HIV to sexual partners

If you feel that your partner knowingly infected you, contact your county prosecutor. There is no guarantee that charges will be filed, but you can plead your case to the prosecutor and he or she will decide how to proceed from there. 

There are many other special factors that could impact whether or not you can recover damages for getting a STD from a sexual partner. The best way to determine if you have a case is to talk to a personal injury lawyer, one like Geoffrey S. Gulinson & Associates PC