Best Lawsuit - 2001
Deuschle v. Jobe
It used to be that bedroom encounters were prefaced with the usual professions of undying love, the sharing of an alcoholic beverage or two and adamant denials of already being married. But now, mating-game participants must tell their partners about sexually transmitted diseases, or they risk more than disrespect in the morning -- they could get sued. Jason Lee Jobe found that out the hard way after he had a sexual relationship with a woman in 1998. That relationship was cut short when the woman discovered she had been given the gift that keeps on giving, genital warts and herpes. The culprit was Jobe. And so, like most Americans, the woman decided that the only way to get even with Jobe was to go to court and sue him. The trial court threw the case out because under Missouri tort law, only married couples could sue for "reckless infection." The Court of Appeals reversed, finding no legal justification for distinguishing between single and married people if they are infected by a reckless partner.