Illinois Jury Awards $2M to HIV-Positive Woman Who Sued Fiance's Parents for Allegedly Lying About Son's HIV Status
March 5, 2004
A Cook County, Ill., jury on Tuesday awarded $2 million to an HIV-positive woman who sued the parents of her now-deceased fiance for allegedly lying about their son's HIV status, the Chicago Tribune reports. The woman, known in court documents as "Jane Doe," contracted HIV through unprotected sex with her fiance, Albert Dilling, in August 1996, according to attorney Hall Adams, who is representing Doe. In the suit, Doe alleged that Dilling's parents, Elizabeth Dilling and her late husband Kirkpatrick Dilling, knew that their son was HIV-positive and lied to Doe about his status and the cause of his deteriorating health, according to the Tribune. Albert Dilling died of AIDS-related complications in November 1999. Doe said that her fiance did not tell her that he was HIV-positive and his parents' dishonesty about his status prevented her from learning her own HIV-positive status and seeking antiretroviral treatment for three years, according to the Tribune. According to Adams, Doe asked Dilling's parents why he was "constantly ill," and they responded that he had heavy metal poisoning and later said that he had Lyme disease. The parents, who paid Dilling's medical bills and were in contact with his doctors, said that they did not learn about their son's HIV status until two weeks before his death, according to the Tribune. "We did not know he had AIDS," Elizabeth Dilling said, adding, "Our doctors diagnosed him with heavy-metal poisoning and then in July 1999 he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I never understood why they didn't test him for AIDS." Elizabeth Dilling said that she plans to appeal the jury's verdict.
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