A Missouri woman is set to receive a payday in the millions after a three-judge panel ruled that GEICO General Insurance Company owed her after she had contracted a sexually-transmitted disease during a lusty tryst in her ex-partner’s vehicle.
The Missouri Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled in the favor of the plaintiff in the strange case, ordering GEICO to pay a whopping $5.2 million settlement to a Jackson County woman – only identified in court records as “M.O.” – after she caught the human papillomavirus (HPV) from a sexual encounter in the car owned by a man who was insured through the agency.
The woman who filed the lawsuit did so in February 2021, saying that she was seeking monetary damages after a former lover – who had been infected with HPV, but failed to disclose it to her – had purposefully exposed her to the virus while having unprotected sex in his GEICO-insured car.
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GEICO had previously declined a potential settlement and instead went through arbitration, where the arbitrator found that the victim’s ex-lover was liable for causing her HPV infection and awarded her $5.2 million. The insurance company – who was on the hook for the bill – then challenged the ruling in court, but the decision by the Court of Appeals this week cemented the initial decision in favor of the plaintiff.
Attorneys representing GEICO had previously argued that the arbitration had violated the company’s right to due process and demanded a new hearing, but these requests were denied; they then appealed the decision, but the judges ruled this week that GEICO could not “relitigate those issues” after a the judgment was made and damages had been determined.
However, Judge Tom Chapman – one of the three who ruled against GEICO – did order a separate opinion where he expressed some degree of sympathy for the insurer, noting that they were essentially “a bystander” in a case in which they had “no meaningful opportunity to participate.”
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