Hogan v. Tavzel

660 So. 2d 350 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1995)

 

RULE:

A cause of action in battery will lie, and consent will be ineffective, if the consenting person was mistaken about the nature and quality of the invasion intended.

FACTS:

Appellant ex-wife challenged the dismissal of her complaint against appellee ex-husband for negligence, battery, fraudulent concealment, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. The parties separated after 15 years of marriage. During a period of attempted reconciliation, appellee infected appellant with genital warts. Appellee knew of his condition but failed to warn appellant or take precautions against infecting her.

ISSUE:

Is a person with a sexually transmitted disease that infects his spouse without warning the spouse of the disease, liable for battery?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

In Florida, a person with a sexually transmitted disease who has sex with another without warning them, may be held liable for battery. The wife did not have any idea with regard to the husband having the sexually transmissible disease, hence, did not consent to getting exposed to it. The battery count was a case of first impression. The court aligned itself with the majority view and held that a tortfeasor could be liable for battery for infecting another with a sexually transmissible disease.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.