JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. (WGHP) — Geico was ordered to pay a woman $5.2 million after she caught a sexually transmitted disease while having sex with a man in his car — yet there’s still a chance the insurance company may not have to pay, according to the Kansas City Star.
The case has been in legal limbo as the insurance company fights the decision. But on Tuesday, a panel of three judges with the Missouri Court of Appeals determined that the lower court was right in dismissing Geico’s motion to have the decision tossed out and a new hearing scheduled.
The woman, who court documents identify as “M.O.,” told Geico that she had sex with a man, identified as “M.B.,” in his 2014 Hyundai Genesis back in 2017. M.B. was insured with Geico. The woman was later diagnosed with human papillomavirus. She alleges that the man knew he had HPV and understood the risks of unprotected sex.
The woman asked for $1 million in damages for “negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress” that happened inside the car, according to the Washington Post, but Geico refused to settle in the case.
In May 2021, an arbitrator with Jackson County Circuit Court determined that sex in the vehicle, “directly caused, or directly contributed to cause” the woman to contract HPV, according to the Post. The man was found liable.
Geico pushed back, arguing that the man’s policy only covered injuries “out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the … auto.” The company also said she contracted HPV due to “her failure to prevent transmission of STDs by having unprotected sex,” the Post reports.
Geico was ordered to pay the woman $5.2 million in damages.
The insurance company tried to have the decision tossed out and a new hearing scheduled, but the panel determined that the lower court made the right call.
“At the time of Geico’s intervention, liability and damages had been determined by an arbitrator and confirmed by the trial court,” Court of Appeals Judge Edward R. Ardini Jr. wrote according to the Washington Post. “Geico had no right to re-litigate those issues.”
Geico is continuing to push back against the decision, stating the claim is not covered under M.B.’s insurance policy, the Star reports.