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Health & Fitness Personal trainer, 45, sues woman for £130,000 after catching a cold sore from kissing her on a date - leaving him 'traumatised' with a 'virus for life'

16:01  15 june  2020
16:01  15 june  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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A personal trainer who claims he caught cold sores from kissing his online date is suing the woman for over £ 130 , 000 after the virus left him He is seeking £ 130 , 000 compensation for the infection which he claims has blighted his personal and professional life - for which he has paid £ 100

Women are less likely to kiss someone with a cold (70 per 'Many do not understand how cold and flu viruses are transferred, putting themselves at greater risk of catching a cold .' 'The scars left by assault don't disappear' JK ROWLING'S deeply personal and compelling essay defending women 's

Man showing a cold sore on his lip (file photo) © Getty Man showing a cold sore on his lip (file photo) A personal trainer who claims he caught cold sores from kissing his online date is suing the woman for over £130,000 after the virus left him 'traumatised'.

Martin Ashley Conway, 45, said the woman he knew as Jovanna Lovelace failed in her 'moral, ethical and legal duty' to inform him of the risks before the couple snogged during a romantic meet-up in London last year. 

He insists she was 'negligent' and owed him a duty of care to protect him from contracting the herpes simplex symptoms.

Mr Conway, from Paddington, west London, says he fell ill several days after the date with flu-like symptoms, mouth ulcers and a panic attack, for which he was rushed to hospital. 

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Cold sores are small blisters that form on the lips or around the mouth as a result of the herpes The herpes virus can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with a cold sore Take care not to share cups, toothbrushes, face towels, or other personal items that might have come into

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He is seeking £130,000 compensation for the infection which he claims has blighted his personal and professional life - for which he has paid £100,000 for fortnightly therapy until the age of 79.  

But, his date, who is in her 30s, is fighting the Central London County Court compensation claim, which her lawyers believe will be thrown out as 'frivolous and vexatious'. 

a man standing on a beach posing for the camera: Martin Ashley Conway, 45, says he has been 'traumatised' and his life and work seriously affected after catching the herpes simplex cold sore virus through snogging a woman during a romantic meet up in London last year © Provided by Daily Mail Martin Ashley Conway, 45, says he has been 'traumatised' and his life and work seriously affected after catching the herpes simplex cold sore virus through snogging a woman during a romantic meet up in London last year

The fitness coach, who met 'Jovanna Lovelace' on Meetup.com, described the fateful date in his claim form.

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' Catching cold sores before the baby is six to nine months old can be serious, as their immune systems aren't well developed. 'And if mum has not had cold sores herself, then a dad with a cold sore should not kiss his baby. 'Also, dads need to be careful not to pass on cold sore virus to mums

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He writes: 'I met the respondent in May 2019 and we communicated daily and this developed into an emotional and romantic relationship.

'On 4th 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.'

He says he found eating painful and, after calling 111 and being referred to hospital, he was diagnosed with 'the lifelong virus of herpes simplex virus' and given medication.

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This is the pain and stiffness you feel the day after you exercise. It stems from microscopic tears in your muscle fibers and the surrounding connective tissues during exercise. This usually happens after you use your muscles in a way they’re not used to, like with a new or more intense workout.

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a man wearing a suit and tie standing next to a dock: Mr Conway claims his date - who he knew as Jovanna Lovelace and like him was a member of social network Meetup.com - 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' © Provided by Daily Mail Mr Conway claims his date - who he knew as Jovanna Lovelace and like him was a member of social network Meetup.com - 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'

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 said: 'My illness was worsening and I was unable to eat or leave my apartment,' adding that he endured 'a few weeks of not leaving my property except for medical appointments.'

Mr Conway says he has been left at a higher risk of catching a more severe ailment, including the 'rare but devastating' sporadic encephalitis.

He also claims he can no longer go cycling, as he worries that the heat and stress will cause a flare-up.

And the stigma and pain of having the virus also has psychological implications which are hard to manage, he says.

Mr Conway said: 'While orolabialherpes may seem to be an innocuous disorder, the pain and unsightly lesions cause patients distress.

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'Problems such as shock, anger, guilt and depression are commonly reported and these may be intensified by the lack of control that patents feel they have over the disease,' 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.'

Mr Conway says the relationship with the woman broke down after he caught the virus.

'I was upset, angry and very confused. 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 says.

He continues: 'As a herpetic, the respondent had a moral and ethical and legal duty to warn me of the risks that I would be exposed to, considering the contagious nature of the virus and herpes being a "virus for life".

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'I did not freely enter into the risks relating to the injury or any type of contagion. I was kissed before I was informed of any cold sore.

'The respondent owed me a duty of care...(and) a harm was reasonably forseeable.

'It is fair, just and reasonable for the court to impose a duty of care upon the respondent, due to the risk that was negligently being taken with my health, which was reasonably foreseeable which led to three weeks of severe acute symptoms, leading to emotional, physical and financial distress.'

Mr Conway, who is also studying law, goes on to say studies suggest that physical and cognitive function can be reduced in people carrying the cold sore virus.

'I feel traumatised by the sudden reduction to my quality of life caused by the physical infection and the knowledge of the psychological vulnerability it imposes on me and am devastated that this infection can endanger my ability to perform in both my current and future career paths,' he says.

'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,' she says, calling the action an 'abuse of the process of the court.'

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.


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