A six-year legal
battle may be coming to an end now that a Los Angeles
County superior court judge has ordered a man to pay $12.5
million for infecting his former wife with HIV.
The Los Angeles
couple, called "Bridget B." and "John B." in court
documents, have been sparring in courtrooms for
years over who infected whom first. In 2006 the case
reached the California supreme court, which
decided Bridget's case against John could go forward,
and that a person would be held liable for failing to
inform a new partner of previous risky sexual behavior.
ruling Judge Rolf Treu said John B. acted with fraud and
malice by lying about his past risky sexual behavior, and
ordered him to pay his former wife $5 million for
future loss of earnings and $7.5 million in general
damages, according to the LosAngeles Times.
Two months after
the couple's October 2000 honeymoon, Bridget B. tested
positive for HIV and was guilt-ridden, believing she may
have exposed her husband to the disease. But two years
later Bridget B. discovered John. B. had visited
sexually explicit gay websites and found e-mails showing
he had unprotected sex with men he met online. In her
testimony Bridget B. claimed John B. admitted to her
he had sex with two men prior to their marriage.
represented himself in the trial and argued that Bridget
B. infected him first. (Neal Broverman, The