Lawsuit filed after 13 women claim they contracted incurable STDs from bottles infected by janitor

Courtney Fischer Image
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Lawsuit filed after women came out against janitor in urine water case
The civil lawsuit alleges building management didn't notify tenants until six days after they received video that showed the janitor tainting an employee's water bottle.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston law firm has filed a civil lawsuit against multiple people after 13 women say they contracted incurable sexually-transmitted diseases from a janitor accused of urinating in employee water bottles.

Lucio Diaz is charged with indecent assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon being his bodily fluids containing Herpes Simplex 1 Virus, according to law firm Abraham Watkins.

Diaz was granted a $75,000 bond after his October 2022 arrest, court records show.

The lawsuit was initially filed on behalf of four women who worked in an east Houston office building where Diaz was a janitor. The women reportedly tested positive for incurable sexually transmitted diseases after coming in contact with water bottles infected by Diaz.

After the lawsuit was filed, nine other women who worked in the same building came forward with the same allegations and diagnoses, the law firm said.

ABC13 spoke to one of the victims, who did not want to be identified, back in October.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Woman says she was infected with STD after janitor urinated in her water bottle

In August, the victim said she noticed a foul smell in the employee water dispenser at the doctor's office along the East Freeway where she works. That's when she vowed to drink only from water bottles that she brought to work.

Then, in late September, she noticed that her own water bottle was smelling and tasting foul -- as if it had been tainted with urine.

This prompted the woman to set up a hidden camera near her desk. The footage caught Diaz, who had been working at the office for eight years, in the act. She shared only a still image from the video but allowed ABC13 to watch it in its entirety.

Court records show a urinalysis confirmed it.

"[He] pulls out his penis and puts his penis in my bottle, basically rinses his penis in the water," she told Eyewitness News.

Further testing brought devastating news. The victim learned she acquired an STD, which he also tested positive for.

SEE ALSO: Up to 13 people come out against janitor accused of urinating into water bottles, investigators say

The victim sent a copy of the video to the building's management company and told them that she would be going to the building to notify the other tenants. However, management told her not to do that and assured her they would handle the situation and notify other tenants, the lawsuit alleges.

The law firm claims no such notification was given. Meanwhile, the hidden camera captured Diaz in the exact same act the day after he was first caught.

The management company didn't notify the tenants of the building about what happened until six days after receiving the video, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit names the owner of the building, the building's management company, the maintenance company, and the cleaning company that employed Diaz.

"All 13 of them need long-term treatment and care. A lot of them need psychological care. This is not something that is going to go away. These are all professional women. They were all working. This happened in a work setting. They need answers. They need accountability," attorney Mo Aziz said. "The number that these women are going to need for lifelong care is going to be determined by experts. As far as our petition is concerned, obviously we are seeking maximum which is allowed by Texas law. It's above 1 million dollars per complainant."

The attorney believes there could be more victims out there.

The building's owner, Altera Fund Advisors, responded with a statement from CEO Terry Quinn when the story first broke in October:

"Our management company immediately cooperated with the police department in this matter as soon as we were made aware of this potential issue by our tenant. They were advised by the police to not alert or approach the alleged perpetrator so that he could be arrested. He was arrested when he returned to the building."

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