Geico Won't Have to Pay $5.2 Million to Woman Who Alleged She Contracted STD in Car Insured by the Company
Geico will no longer have to pay $5.2 million to a Missouri woman who claimed she contracted a sexually transmitted disease in a Geico-insured car.
Image via Getty/Mark Brown
Geico will no longer have to pay $5.2 million to a Missouri woman who claimed she contracted a sexually transmitted disease in a Geico-insured car, CBS News reports.
The verdict in the case against the company was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday, in a unanimous decision. State Supreme Court judges ruled that Geico, which is based in Maryland, should be provided with more of a chance to weigh in on the case and it’ll be sent back to lower courts for more deliberation. Geico might still need to pay a settlement later on, depending on the verdict of the court.
The woman, who has only been identified as “M.O.” in court documents, filed a lawsuit against the company in 2021 after she said she contracted Human papillomavirus (HPV) after she had sex with a male partner in a 2014 Hyundai Genesis insured by Geico. She claimed the man knew he had HPV and failed to inform her about it, and as a result the company should provide coverage for injuries and losses. She initially put forth a settlement offer of $1 million, which Geico rejected, and the case was sent to arbitration.
When the arbitrator found "there was sexual activity in (insured’s) automobile” that “directly caused, or directly contributed to cause” M.O. to be infected, the woman was awarded $5.2 million in damages to be paid by Geico. The company did file an appeal, and said it wasn't offered much of a chance to defend itself against the claim. The Missouri Court of Appeals initially upheld the initial judgment, and said Geico had “the opportunity to participate and defend its interests—including the ability to challenge liability and damages—by entering a defense of Insured [...] Geico did not take advantage of this opportunity, and instead denied coverage and refused to defend Insured.”