A Missouri Court of Appeals has upheld a $5.2 million award against GEICO after a woman filed a claim because she contracted a sexually transmitted disease in the car of a man who was insured by the company, according to court documents.
The woman, a resident of Jackson County identified in court papers only as "M.O." - said she contacted human papillomavirus (HPV) from the her ex-boyfriend in November and December 2017 after she "engaged in unprotected sexual activities in Insured's vehicle."
In a February 2021 p;etition to Geico, the woman claimed that the man "negligently caused or contributed to" her catching the disease. She made a final settlement offer of $1 million to resolve her claims, which Geico denied.
In an opinion published Tuesday and reported by NBC News, the Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri affirmed the judgement after Geico challenged the decision through an arbitrator, who found in her favor.
Geico appealed the arbitrator's decision, and lost again.
"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," the appeals court wrote. "But GEICO did have the opportunity to participate and defend its interests — including the ability to challenge liability and damages — by entering a defense of Insured."