A court found that Geico owed a Missouri woman a massive settlement after she contracted HPV in a vehicle.
What would the gecko say about this? The Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a $5.2 million settlement this week which will be awarded to a woman who was infected with HPV by her sexual partner in a car insured by the company.
Back in February of 2021, the woman, who has only been identified in documents as M.O., claimed that her partner “contributed to cause to be infected with HPV by not taking proper precautions and neglecting to inform and/or disclose his diagnosis” with her. According to the petition she submitted to GEICO, her partner’s “insurance policy provided coverage for her injuries and losses.”
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GEICO refused to cover the losses, which at that point totaled $1 million, and the case was subsequently sent to an arbitrator, according to the Missouri Court of Appeals filing. The arbitrator sided with the woman, finding that “there was sexual activity in (insured’s) automobile” which “directly caused, or directly contributed to cause” the woman’s HPV infection. The arbitrator determined that $5.2 million would be an appropriate compensation for the woman’s damages.
GEICO then asserted that the court didn’t allow the company “a meaningful opportunity to defend its interests,” and appealed the Jackson County Circuit Court’s decision. The insurance company, however, had no more luck with the Court of Appeals. “At the time of Geico’s intervention, liability and damages had been determined by an arbitrator and confirmed by the trial court. GEICO had no right to relitigate those issues,” stated the court’s opinion.
It looks like not all the brand mascots in the world can stop a well-reasoned insurance petition. Progressive, you’ve been warned.