crazy lawsuit

I heard a radio program talking about HPV yesterday morning. I was very upset because the host was misrepresenting HPV and cervical cancer...including calling the women nasty names and dirty. He was referencing a recent lawsuit filed and won for 1.5 million...now I find this lawsuit crazy too. Those of us who are educated know there is no way to know who infected who and when. Read this and let me know your thoughts. There are several more reports out on google.

Updated August 11. 2008 7:48AM
$1.5 million awarded in HPV lawsuit
By Trish Mehaffey

The Gazette
trish.mehaffey@gazcomm.com

Jeff Tronvold, Cedar Rapids attorney, said a Muscatine County jury sent a strong message last week when they awarded $1.5 million to a 25-year-old woman in her lawsuit against a man who infected her with the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV.

It's the first case like this that has made it to court in Iowa and one of a small percentage in the United States, Tronvold said. Most of the HPV-related cases in the courts and in the news concern the side effects of the vaccination Gardasil.

This genital virus is the most common sexually transmitted infection which attacks the skin and mucous membranes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Karly Rossiter, 23, at the time of infection in 2005, didn't know she had it and didn't know anything about HPV. "It was before the Gardasil commercials, which didn't come out until, I think, 2006," Tronvold said Wednesday.

Rossiter met Alan Evans, a Muscatine dentist, in December 2004. He told her he was free of any sexually transmitted diseases before they started dating. A few days later after having sex with him on Jan. 1, 2005, Evans asked her if she had been tested for HPV.

Rossiter went to her doctor for information and was told there is no general test for HPV and it wasn't necessary since her recent Pap test came back normal, Tronvold said.

The only test on the market is only used as part of a cervical cancer screening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tronvold said Rossiter was concerned because of what Evans had asked, so she demanded the test and because her insurance wouldn't cover it, she paid it out of her own pocket.

In April 2005 she learned she could potentially have HPV and she started developing symptoms of the virus, genital warts, in January 2006, according to the lawsuit. An examination of the cervix showed severe dysplasia, abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix, which is a precursor to cancer.

She had a surgical procedure in March 2006, where lesions are cut off the cervix, Tronvold said. Rossiter had multiple cuts of varying tissue sizes. The skin is then cauterized to prevent infection.

Rossiter is symptom free of the virus now but there's no guarantee that it won't come back and she will remain a carrier, Tronvold said. He believes that's why the jury awarded $700,000 for past and future physical and mental pain and suffering, and another $800,000 in punitive damages.

Tronvold said the statements Evans made to Rossiter that he was free of disease and then asked her after sex the specific question about HPV are what likely influenced the jury.

Tim Semelroth, a Cedar Rapids attorney who handles medical-related suits, said in this case Iowa's civil justice system worked. The jury believed Evans "willfully and wantonly disregarded" Rossiter's safety when he infected her.

Semelroth said the amount of the verdict is understandable because the jurors must decide fair compensation for a woman who will have viral outbreaks the rest of her life and live in fear of developing cervical cancer, and also determine the appropriate punishment for Evans who betrayed her trust.

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Oh My! Can I please have 1.5 million also?

And how does this woman even know for a CERTAIN FACT that this man is whom she acquired the HPV from anyway? Bet she doesn't!

Wow. I wish this guy could file a counter-suit for false accusations, and for her just being stupid (maybe I should say uniformed) about not getting tested for HPV, and against her gyno for never having tested her for HPV. I KNOW there was a test for HPV in 2005 because I was diagnosed with HPV in 2002 - by a doctor in a rinky dink Indiana town.

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Good for her!

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Well beofre we become man-bashers...it's a two way street---men pass it to women and we pass it to men. There's no way to know you gave it to her of any of us...unless you've only had one sexual partner.
He may have asked because he was a dentist and maybe more educated then the average man...he may have been concerned about protecting himself.

I'd love the 1.5 too but let's face it this is an unfair case and set a very bad legal precedent.

80% of women will have HPV by the time they are 50...are we all going to sue. I think not.

Again HPV is a virus like the common cold. It's not Cancer...it causes cancer in some women...but not all

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Well beofre we become man-bashers...it's a two way street---men pass it to women and we pass it to men. There's no way to know you gave it to her of any of us...unless you've only had one sexual partner.
He may have asked because he was a dentist and maybe more educated then the average man...he may have been concerned about protecting himself.

I'd love the 1.5 too but let's face it this is an unfair case and set a very bad legal precedent.

80% of women will have HPV by the time they are 50...are we all going to sue. I think not.

Again HPV is a virus like the common cold. It's not Cancer...it causes cancer in some women...but not all

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Wow!! This sets a crazy precedent, in my view. Think of all the people that could be sued!! I'm glad this is in the news, though -- even if it just starts a conversation.

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Wow i hope the rest of us 80% can be compensated 1.5m! Silly silly precedent. So disappointing.

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That was just preposterous. I guess i should have sued my previous husband for this too lol.

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What crap! Talk about perpetuating the stigma. So now we are not only are we dirty and shameful for having HPV, but we will all be generalized as retaliatory and money grubbing when it happens. Great...I am sure the media will have a field day with making all of us with HPV and cervical cancer feel so much better!

This is bad and sets a horrible precedence, one that anyone having sex should be worried about, married or not! Basically, it says that we are unable to take reponsibility for our actions and choices and should be compensated for making a bad choice. She could have said no or waited for him to be tested before jumping into bed.

If he could wait a few days after meeting to have sex, what is one or two more weeks. I know there is no test for HPV, but maybe he would have been more honest or she would have wised up or not have had sex with him if he refused to be tested for STDs.

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I find this case very interesting. Without knowing any of the details of this case, the key thing that came up for me was that Evans asked her about HPV - and specifically, the wart aspect. As a dentist, he examines people's mouths for cancers, etc and as a dentist, a professional, the onus is on him to stay educated in the latest info on viruses, etc, esp those that can affect the mouth. If he was aware that he had warts prior to his relationship w/Rossiter, but withheld that info, then I think the jury is right on. If she never had warts prior to this relationship...bingo!
I think it would be near impossible (unless a person was a virgin without ANY oral-genital contact with another person) to prove asymptomatic strains of HPV - but when a person has never had warts and then suddenly has them after being with someone who's concern about them came after they were intimate, it would really make me wonder and I do think you could trace that infection. Warts are highly contagious.

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I believe that if a man/women knows he/she has hvp and gives it to another something should be done about it. Its not right of a person to just pass something like this to another person when you know you have it.

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That is too ridiculous!!! Well, now she doesnt need insurance for whatever she may need later on because she has 1.5 million dollars from "knowing" who gave her HPV. I'm sure she wasnt a virgin before getting with this guy, too. It's sad how there are people out there who don't know the facts and causes of HPV, because I guarantee if they did their research before this whole court battle, they would've found her accussations inconclusive and insignificant because there is just no way to tell who infected you especially if you weren't a virgin before getting with this guy, and have been with a couple or few guys before the one you're blaming. Maybe she did a "pick and choose" at who's the guy who had the most money. Okay maybe I shouldn't assume either, but, i'll just go ahead and talk silly stuff over a silly matter anyway. Geesh....

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But then again....if she didn't have warts before and she only got it after that guy, then maybe she is right. We will never know, only this woman though. But I also read that HPV can be dormant and come out of no where. I just think it was very wrong of this guy to know what he's had and chose to keep it away from her, but try and sneak it in after they had sex. That is pure selfishness. I hate people like that who can't come clean and be responsible. They really know how to ruin and change peoples lives in a sad way.

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I have to agree with Button, Faith & momof4...and also for the winning of this case. I also agree that if you jump from one partner to another in a short period of time, then yes, there is no way of knowing where you got hpv. But, in my case...7 to 10yrs in between relationships and going for paps 2x a yr, (being diabetic) which can cause yeast infections (always clear of that), and always a normal paps. I never just jumped into bed with anyone without a long term relationship, and like the last person wasn't any diff. I dated this guy for 9mths before taking the relationship further. After the 1st intimate relations with this guy, it was time for my 6mth checkup. That is when it came back abnormal. The 1st thing my dr asked me was, was I currently involved with anyone, which I was. I then had to followup with an hpv test which came back positive for HR HPV. Prior to going for the followup, I asked him if there was something he wanted to tell me...of course he said no. When I found out what I had....I had another talk with him. His immediate response was "how do you know you got it for me, followed by well you don't like sex anyway". Without even asking about what hpv was or anything...I was convinced he knew he had it. My dr was without question, knew I got it from him based on my medical history.

Now I know there is no way for a man to know they've been infected unless they were told by their previous partner. In this case, he must have been told...and it was his responsiblity (as with any partner) to disclose their status on any STD especially hpv.

As far as the lawsuit is concerned, yes I agree, he knew and withheld this information until after and I feel she in her right to win.

I think this is a step in the right direction. For one, it's bringing it out in the open. It's sending a message, and maybe, just maybe, it might change the minds of those people that made the decision at the HPV conference recently about not having to disclose their hpv status to their partners, which is condoning irresponsiblity, dispite the fact of their full knowledge the damage that it does to women. In addition, force them to come up with a good reliable hpv test for men. So I say, if this is what it's gonna take, so be it. It's a shame this may be what it takes.

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I thought this must be an urban legend, but soon found it to be true. There is an interesting article on msnbc exploring this topic and specifically regarding this case says "In the Iowa case, Tronvold convinced a jury that the dentist led a promiscuous sex life, was having sex with at least one other woman at the same time and that his client’s cervical lesions (created by HPV) occurred only after the start of their relationship. The jury felt the preponderance of the evidence was enough. " The full msnbc article is here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27203560.

Interesting that in this case, the HPV strain was not high risk and she was still awarded the large payout for a strain that causes warts. Really to me this just shows our legal system out of control. If it brings more awareness to HPV, though, I'll take it.

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I really don't think its as ridiculous as some of you feel. You claim she doesn't know that he did give it to her and we don't know that he didn't.

Perhaps this is the attention it needs. Half of the population walks around not knowing a single things about HPV yet they are part of the problem and Dr. aren't any better. Down playing the seriousness of the virus and chalking it up to something that its part of life.

Gardasil is the begining and only when there are tests for men and treatments for women who have it will i be happy.

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I kinda agree with what she did. My ex husband gave me hpv and I wish I could do something about it. He also gave me two other std's. Luckily they were treatable. He's a very bad man I wish I could sew him for 1.5 mill that would be great.

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It is a stupid lawsuit, that misrepresents HPV. I'm sure that woman is laughing all the way to the bank.
I would give up all material possessions, to have my cancer experience taken away. How can you set a price on your health and well being?
I wonder how much of that she will donate to cc. and HPV foundations?

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All i can say is wow! That is crazy!

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absolutely crazy and that is why health coverage including the hpv test is so expensive.All these freakin lawsuits that people who are sue happy.We know that even if he was the carrier she well could have had it long before.There is no certain guarantee on anything.How about the government pay for any and all health care needed for this woman and the people like her and us.

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I had to have a conversaton about a law suit with my mom. I found out after talking to my ex-step father that his girlfriend has HPV and it developed in to cancer. She had to have a hysterectomy. How would that afect my mom? Well he was cheating with this woman while still married to my mother.

I've been adimately telling my mom whe needs to go have a pap. Especially since I've just had to go through having a LEEP. She doesn't have insurance and falls into the "gap" where she makes to much for public assistance programs, but not enough to pay for it herself. So she won't go in. Frustraiting...So I'm all for universal healthcare!

When I was talking to her about her need to get tested, she said she'd sue her ex husband if she had it. I had to bring up that she's been with other people since him. I know at least one of these men had cheated on her also. I had to tell her she would have a tough time with that one because she wouldn't be able to prove she didn't get it from one of her other partners since her and my step father split. I had to explain that there was no way to test a man for HPV so she could have gotten it from anyone.

In the case that started this, I feel like there is a lot of info that is missing from the article. Had she been sexually active prior to sleeping with this dentist? I think we'd all like some sort of compensation from whom ever gave us HPV but if they don't know they have it would that be fair?

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