SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco Superior Court judge has ordered new trial dates in three separate personal-injury lawsuits filed by former performers Cameron Bay, Rod Daily and an unidentified John Doe against Kink.com.
Bay’s trial has been continued by six months to Sept. 15, Daily’s to Jan. 16, and Doe’s moves forward to Aug. 14.
Each of the three plaintiffs claim they became HIV-infected while working for Kink.com at Armory Studios properties.
Bay alleges in her claim that she likely became infected after exposed to bloodborne pathogens on a PublicDisgrace.com production in July 2013.
Daily, who was said to have performed exclusively in gay and TS scenes during his porn career, claims he was infected in August 2013 after he shot for Kink on three occasions, including for the websites TSSeduction.com, KinkMen.com, BoundInPublic.com and NakedKombat.com.
Doe claims he worked on a BoundInPublic.com shoot in January 2013 and later found that he was infected with HIV.
Kink.com for the past year and a half has rejected the suits, publicly saying that the former performers didn’t work with anyone who was HIV-positive and that suggested transmission methods were unsupported by any existing science related to the transmission of HIV.
Tonight, Karen Tynan, Kink.com's attorney, told XBIZ: "As we have said, and as medical experts have repeatedly concluded, the virus was not transmitted on set. However, for most lay people, HIV transmission is a complicated, poorly understood issue, often clouded by fear and bias."
"As with any legal process, the pace of resolution is slow," Tynan said. "We have group of defense attorneys working together and preparing for the trial dates. Since there is a protective order in the case, we can't go into specifics.
"But we know the science and are confident that, once presented with the facts, no judge or jury will conclude that there was any HIV transmission."
Each of the suits seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, while alleging negligence, fraudulent representation, civil conspiracy to commit fraud, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and premises liability, among other charges. In Bay and Doe’s suits, claims for battery also were made.
Counsel for Kink.com’s owner, Peter Acworth, moved for the continuance of the three trials because the lawsuits present “novel theories” about HIV transmission in the context of an adult shoot involving BDSM.
Counsel also noted the defense will need to conduct extensive expert discovery concerning epidemiology, HIV transmission and forensic psychological evaluations — much more than typically necessary in bodily injury and emotional distress cases.
In related news, Kink.com has filed a new lawsuit against the State Compensation Insurance Fund and Seneca Insurance Co. in a suit seeking declaratory relief over providing a worker’s comp and liability defense against claims made by Bay, Doe and Daily.
State Fund and Seneca have refused to provide defenses in connection with the suits.
State Fund said that it’s not obligated to defend or indemnify Kink.com in any of the three claims because of an exclusion — that it would not pay for damages arising out of “bodily injury intentionally caused or aggravated” by the studio.
Seneca, meanwhile, contends it had a “injury to cast or crew” exclusion to its policy and denied coverage. Kink.com, however, said that Seneca’s policy did not include the “injury to cast or crew” exclusion, and that has set off another round of litigation.
Earlier this month, Seneca sued Kink.com in federal court seeking to have the policy reformatted because of a clerical error that made a substitution over the exclusion.
Kink also has fought for its general liability coverage with another insurer, Atain Specialty Insurance Co., which sued Kink to shield it from providing legal defenses in the Bay, Daily and Doe cases.
Atain said that its insurance policy did not exclude coverage for litigation arising from any sexual act that occurs on premises. A federal judge disagreed.
Pictured: File photos of Cameron Bay, Rod Daily