(CN) – The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld a $1.5 million verdict against a man who gave his ex-girlfriend a cancer-causing sexually transmitted disease.
Alan Evans met the woman after he bought out her dentist’s practice. After her first dental appointment, she and Evans had sex.
Before that encounter, Evans told her that he was STD-free, but later suggested she get tested for the human papilloma virus (HPV).
She tested positive for HPV and had to undergo a surgical procedure to remove pre-cancerous cells. She also developed genital warts.
At trial, Evans said he was seeing two other women at the time, and one of those women eventually had his baby.
The ex-girlfriend sued for the negligent transference of HPV, and a jury awarded her $700,000 in actual damages and $800,000 in punitive damages.
The appeals court upheld the decision, ruling that Evans knew or should have known that he was infected.
“[A] rational juror could find Evans represented to (plaintiff) that he was disease-free and monogamous,” Judge Amanda Potterfield wrote. “However, Evans had genital warts, which (a doctor) testified was ‘the most common way for someone to know they had HPV.'”