Recognizing theories of recovery for a tort committed an estimated six million times per year in the United States alone at an annual cost in excess of $4 billion is logical—if not imperative. Not all jurisdictions, however, recognize theories of recovery when the tort in question is the wrongful transmission of herpes and human papillomavirus (“HPV”), two of the most common, incurable sexually transmitted diseases (“STDs”) in America. Nevertheless, in Deuschle v. Jobe, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri took a significant step by acknowledging an unmarried sexual partner’s right to bring negligence and intentional tort claims for the transmission of the STDs. Contending that wrongful transmission causes of action sounding in negligence and intentional tort should be recognized, the Note begins by setting forth the facts and holding of Deuschle, and then provides an overview of genital herpes and HPV. Next, this Note surveys the legal landscape of tortious transmission cases involving these two STDs and examines the public policies that factor into the decision whether to allow tortious transmission actions. After exploring Deuschle in detail, the Note seeks to uncover the roadblocks to recovery that exist even when causes of action are recognized.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.