CHICAGO (CN) – The Illinois Supreme Court has refused to reinstate a $2 million award to a woman who claimed her late fiancé’s parents lied to her about their son’s HIV-positive status, causing her to find out too late that she was also infected with the deadly virus.
A Chicago jury awarded the money to the Jane Doe plaintiff in 2004 on her claim that Kirk and Betty Dilling had intentionally and falsely assured her that their son, Albert, was not HIV positive and did not have AIDS, and that he was instead suffering from “heavy-metal poisoning.”
Had she known about Albert’s true condition, Doe claimed, she would have gotten tested earlier and found out about her own HIV infection before it progressed to full-blown AIDS. Albert died on Nov. 29, 1999.
An appeals court ruled in December for the Dillings, finding that Doe did not justify her reliance on the Dillings’ statements.
The state high court took the decision a step further by calling it “error for the appellate court to hold that the tort of fraudulent misrepresentation applied in plaintiff’s case.”
Doe had cited case law in which plaintiffs sued the people who gave them diseases, not third parties who may have withheld information. Neither Doe nor the appellate court cited “a single case in the country where a court has imposed liability under the tort of fraudulent misrepresentation against the parents of a competent adult tortfeasor for their failure to disclose information about that tortfeasor to a third party,” Justice Freeman wrote.