Does catching an STD in someone else’s car fall under car insurance? According to the Missouri Court of Appeals, it most certainly does.
A Jackson County woman filed a claim that she unwittingly caught a sexually transmitted disease from her former romantic partner in his car. A three-judge panel found that the case entered against GEICO General Insurance Company through earlier arbitration to be valid. Obviously, the insurance company claimed otherwise, citing that errors were made in Jackson County Circuit Court.
The woman, who identifies only as M.O., notified GEICO in February 2021 of the incident, informing the company of her intention to seek monetary damages. She allegedly contracted the human papillomavirus, otherwise known as HPV, from an insured member in his vehicle. The kicker is that the man did not inform her of his condition and the risks she was taking by having unprotected sex.
GEICO declined the original settlement and sent the case to arbitration. This didn’t work in their favor, as in May 2021, the arbitrator found that the man and woman had sex inside his vehicle that “directly caused, or directly contributed to cause” the HPV infection. GEICO must now pay $5.2 million to the woman for damages and injuries from the incident.
Motions to seek a new hearing filed by the company were denied, saying GEICO did not have a right to “relitigate those issues” once damages and a judgement had been determined.