Personal Trainer Sues Date For £130,000 After Catching Cold Sore
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trainer who says he contracted cold sores after kissing a woman on a date is
now suing her for over £130,000 ($163k) in compensation for her 'negligence'.
Martin Conway, 45, says he has been 'traumatised' and his life and work seriously affected after catching the herpes simplex cold sore virus.
Mr Conway claims his date - who he knew as Jovanna Lovelace - was 'negligent' in kissing him when she had an active cold sore and owed him a duty of care to protect him from contracting a 'virus for life'.
Mr Conway said: "[She] had a moral and ethical and legal duty to warn me of the risks that I
would be exposed to. I was kissed before I was informed of
any cold sore."
However, his date, who is in her 30s, is fighting the Central London County Court compensation claim, which her lawyers describe as 'frivolous and vexatious'.
Fitness coach Mr Conway, of Paddington, west London, said on the claim form: "On 4 July 2019, the respondent invited me to an evening out. The respondent met me in central London and we kissed.
"Later that evening after sharing intimate kisses already she informed me, as her makeup was coming off, that she had a cold sore.
"I had no knowledge of cold sores having never been infected with them before [and] was not aware of the contagious nature of cold sores."
Mr Conway says he began to experience a cough two days later and had flu-like symptoms within a week. Ulcers then began to develop and spread in his mouth, which he found 'extremely distressing'.
A few days later, he had a panic attack and collapsed at home after seeing more ulcers appearing and had to be taken to St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, by ambulance, he says.
He also claims the stigma and pain of having the virus also has psychological implications which are hard to manage.
He said: "While orolabial herpes may seem to be an innocuous disorder, the pain and unsightly lesions cause patients distress.
"I have suffered from depression in the past and I fear that I will need regular psychological support to manage the added psychological burden caused by the nature of the infection which has been given to me."
He continued: "I wanted justice and it was then I decided I wanted to take legal action against the respondent for the illness she brought upon me."
Mr Conway, who is currently studying law, goes on to say studies suggest that physical and cognitive function can be reduced in people carrying the cold sore virus.
He went on: "I am devastated that this infection can endanger my ability to perform in both my current and future career paths.
"I rely on sensormotor function and spatial ability to perform as a personal trainer and rely on my cognitive function to complete my law training and pursue my dream career as a lawyer."
He is claiming £136,328 in compensation from his date, including over £100,000 for fortnightly therapy sessions until the age of 79, and payments to cover lost earnings while he was ill and to cover income protection insurance until retirement in case of further bouts.
In her defence, Miss Lovelace denies Mr Conway's version of events and the accuracy of much of his account of their relationship.
She denies any liability, asks for the claim to be struck out, and adds: "This action against the defendant is frivolous and vexatious.
"The statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing the claim."
The case reached court briefly in February for a pre-trial directions hearing and is due back again for a further hearing later this year.