By Freya Noble • Senior Producer Watch the video here... A high-profile Sydney lawyer and…
By Bianka Farmakis
How bad does a first date have to be to walk away with a $236,000 lawsuit?
For UK Martin Conway, it comes down to ‘negligence’ — or so he claims after allegedly catching herpes from a kiss on a first date last year.
Conway, 45, is claiming $247,700 in compensation from the woman he knew as Jovanna Lovelace, with the overwhelming amount of that money – $181,700 – requested for fortnightly therapy until the age of 79.
The personal trainer demands additional payment to cover his lost earnings from work, and income protection insurance until retirement in case of further bouts of the herpes simplex virus.
“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,” he tells The Sun.
Conway claims he has been left ‘traumatised’ and his life has been turned upside down since his date with Lovelace.
The couple met in July 2019 via dating site Meetup.com and kissed on their first date.
“I was kissed before I was informed of any cold sore,” Conway insists in a claim form submitted to court. He also accuses Lovelace of neglecting “her moral and ethical and legal duty to warn [him] of the risks that [he] would be exposed to.”
Within days of the date, Conway suffered from common symptoms of ‘mouth herpes’, including cold sores and mouth ulcers.
The psychological impact of the encounter, he suggests, has been traumatic.
Conway tells The Sun he was rushed to hospital and suffered panic attacks as a result of catching the “virus for life”.
The stigma associated with the lifelong condition has caused him to suffer moments of “shock, anger, guilt and depression”, he adds.
“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 says in the claim form.
An aspiring lawyer, Conway claims the incident has prevented him from pursuing his dream career as he remains unable to leave his London home.
The avid cyclist also says he fears bike riding now, worried the heat and stress of the sport will result in a flare-up of his symptoms.
Lawyers for Lovelace have dismissed the man’s claims as “frivolous and vexatious” and denied Conway’s description of events and any liability for the infection.
The case began briefly in February at Central London’s County Court, and will continue later this year.