Geico is facing a $5.2 million legal payout in Missouri.
A woman filed a claim with the company after claiming she contracted a sexually transmitted disease in a vehicle insured by the giant.
A Missouri court just rejected Geico's appeal in the case.
Geico is embroiled in an unusual legal battle in a Missouri court — a case that centers on a couple's sexual encounters in a vehicle insured by the company.
The Berkshire Hathaway-owned giant, which insures more than 30 million vehicles, according to a company fact sheet, could be on the hook for a $5.2 million payout to a woman who claims she caught an STD while having sexual relations in a car insured by Geico.
In 2021, the woman — who wasn't identified in court papers — filed a claim with the insurance company that she said she contracted anogenital human papillomavirus — or HPV — from a man while having sex in his Geico-insured vehicle. The insurance company denied her claim, but when the woman pressed the issue, the company and the woman agreed to approach an arbitrator to resolve the matter.
The arbitrator decided in the woman's favor, awarding her $5.2 million last year.
Geico appealed. On Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, ruled against Geico's appeal. That means the insurance giant could be on the hook for the $5.2 million award. A related, separate federal-court case, in which Geico disputes that the matter is covered under its policy, could determine whether the company, which has more than $32 billion in assets, will have to pay out, according to a report this week from the Kansas City Star.
The matter began after a man identified in court documents as M.B. — whose car was insured by Geico — had sex in his vehicle with a woman, identified as M.O. The sexual encounters took place in November and December of 2017.
The woman alleged that as a result of that sexual relationship, she contracted HPV. According to the court filings, the man was aware that he had HPV but neglected to inform his sexual partner. She filed a claim with Geico, saying the man had "negligently infected her with the disease during sexual encounters in his automobile." That meant "her injuries and losses" should be covered under his Geico automobile insurance policy, she claimed. The case was filed in Jackson County, Missouri.
The woman argued in her filings that her HPV diagnosis will force her to face "past and future medical expenses" and "past and future mental and physical pain and suffering." Geico rejected the woman's coverage application and settlement offer in April 2021. But the arbitrator found in the woman's favor, awarding her $5.2 million in damages.
Geico's legal team asserted during its appeal of the arbitrator's award that a trial court confirmed the arbitration award too swiftly, without giving the insurance giant "a meaningful opportunity to defend its interests."
Geico did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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