One woman is getting a million-dollar payday from Geico for a bizarre reason, proving how important it is to keep your car insurance up to date.
According to NBC News, a Missouri state court ruled that the car insurance provider must pay the woman $5.2 million after she contracted HPV from having unprotected sex with a partner in his car.
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name given to a variety of viruses that can be transmitted during sexual contact. Though its usually harmless, it can lead to genital warts or cancer. HPV doesn’t usually have symptoms, so many people aren’t aware that they’re carrying it.
According to court documents, the woman – who is only identified as “M.O.” to protect he identify – claims her ex-boyfriend “negligently caused or contributed” to her contracting the STI. She claims they “engaged in unprotected sexual activities in Insured’s vehicle” multiple times between November and December 2017.
However, M.O. only discovered she was positive for HPV during a routine gynecology exam in 2021. She alleges her ex-boyfriend knew he was carrying the STI, but didn’t disclose it to her.
Her legal team argued that this caused her “mental and physical pain and suffering.” She was also left with a bill for “past and future medical expenses,” though the monetary amount is unknown.
The woman originally filed a claim with Geico for compensation for $1 million. Since she was negligently infected with HPV in an insured car, she argued the insurance company should compensate her for injuries as well as damages.
However, her request was initially denied. This led M.O. to consult an arbitrator, who determined Geico was in the wrong. The arbitrator concluded they should pay M.O. $5.2 million.
Geico went on to appeal the arbitration. The company claimed they never had a chance to defend itself during arbitration, and even claimed that M.O.’s allegations were a “sham” between her and her former sexual partner.
Geico also stated that it shouldn’t be responsible for the woman’s injuries, arguing it’s only responsible for those that arise ““out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the … auto.”
“M.O.’s alleged damages have no nexus to the ownership, maintenance, or covered use of the 2014 Hyundai Genesis,” the company argued. “In other words, the vehicle’s covered use did not cause M.O.’s alleged injuries; instead, her injuries arose from an intervening cause — namely, her failure to prevent transmission of STDs by having unprotected sex,” Geico continued.
However, the original decision was upheld in Jackson County Circuit Court. The appeals court determined that Geico did have a chance to defend itself, and stated they still need to fork over the millions.
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