The city of Portland has agreed to pay $89,000 to the son of a local police officer who was infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) while working undercover in the 1990s.
The officer, who recently filed a lawsuit against the city, unknowingly passed down the virus to her child while pregnant. The settlement amount is intended to cover his treatment, Oregon Live reports.
The woman, who asked not to be named in legal documents related to the decision, spent much of her career with the Portland Police posing as a prostitute and drug buyer in undercover operations. She later worked as a patrol officer who worked closely with injection drug users.
Throughout her career, the officer claims she was bitten, pricked by syringes and exposed to suspects’ blood while on the job. A medical expert hired by the city for the case recently “determined with a reasonable degree of medical certainty” that the officer, who was diagnosed HCV positive in 2011, must have been infected with hepatitis C one of those times.
The city’s worker’s compensation system has already paid for the female officer’s medical expenses related to hepatitis C—however, her son has not yet been treated. The Portland City Council’s $89,000 settlement payment is intended to cover the price of Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) treatment, which costs $84,000 for a standard 12-week course of treatment, as well as $5,000 in legal fees.
The City Attorney’s Office recommended Portland authorities to approve the son’s payment based on the potential for a much larger award if the case had gone to trial. So far, the young man says he plans to go on hepatitis C treatment if he starts showing symptoms but will keep the money for his stress and worry.