(CN) – A high school wrestler can’t recover damages for contracting herpes simplex 1 during a match, because the school district had warned him of the risk, a New York appeals court ruled.
Brendan Farrell contracted the virus while competing in a match for John F. Kennedy High School. Type 1, which causes fever blisters and cold sores, can be transmitted from close contact with an infected person, such as kissing or sharing towels. Type 2 is a sexually transmitted disease that causes genital sores.
According to experts on both sides, high school wrestling carries a risk of contracting the skin disease, which Farrell’s own expert said was “well known to wrestling coaches, administrators, and wrestling officials” and “may exist in 29.8 percent of all high school wrestlers.”
The trial court denied the school district’s motion for summary judgment, but the justices of the Brooklyn-based Second Appellate Division agreed.
“Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, the School District informed Farrell of the specific risk of contracting herpes, not just the risk of contracting skin diseases in general through wrestling,” the justices wrote.