You win some, you lose some.
A Missouri woman learned this lesson the hard way, after claiming she got a sexually-transmitted disease from her ex-boyfriend after they had sex in the back of his 2014 Hyundai Genesis.
On Tuesday, the woman learned that she was awarded a $5.2-million settlement by the Missouri Court of Appeals, to be paid by the GEICO General Insurance Company.
15 minutes could save you $5.2 million by passing your degenerate personal liability to GEICO.
One question…did they only have sex in the car?
Can't wait to sign my STD rider.https://t.co/QpzsGyMOme pic.twitter.com/Q77CorF88u
— Searching (@Negative_GW) June 8, 2022
The one-of-a-kind case was overseen by a three-judge panel, which decided to uphold a judgment against the insurance company that was entered during earlier arbitration proceedings. Yahoo News reports that the woman had been seeking monetary damages from GEICO, which insured her ex-boyfriend’s car, because she claims she contracted HPV, human papillomavirus while having sex in the car.
After all, it makes a certain kind of sense. When people think of insurance payouts to cover injuries sustained in a vehicle, they usually imagine crashes and other vehicular accidents. But now it seems they’ll also have to think about injuries incurred from getting freaky in the back of a car.
According to court documents in the case, the woman alleged that her ex-boyfriend knew that he had a cancerous throat tumor and HPV, and still chose to have unprotected sex with her, without informing her of his condition. Last year, an arbitrator determined that their sexual liaison in the man’s car “directly caused, or directly contributed to cause” the woman’s HPV infection.
This determination is what led to the judgment that, by not disclosing his condition, the man was on the hook for the $5.2 million in damages.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Los Angeles personal injury attorney Miguel Custodio thought the judgment was reasonable.
“If you think about it as an injury sustained while in that person’s vehicle,” he said, “then it totally falls within what an insurance company would be required to pay.
“Usually, injuries to passengers are the result of a collision, or slamming the door on one’s fingers, that sort of thing. But while a lawsuit over contracting an STD from the insured driver may be the first of its kind, this award shows that it’s not a stretch for someone to file against an insurance company for any actions occurring in a motor vehicle.”
“The lesson to be learned here is that people need to broaden the scope of what an injury is,” Custodio added. “Most people would not think that contracting this disease is an injury suffered in a vehicle—though it definitely is.”
GEICO had filed motions in the case claiming that its right to due process had been violated, but this argument was rejected by the Court of Appeals.
“All of GEICO’s appeals were denied and they are not allowed to relitigate where a judgment has already been entered,” Custodio explained. And while the woman has won her case, the rest of us have lost bigly. We can expect our car insurance premiums to increase as a result.
“I expect [insurers] already have an army of attorneys poring over their contracts and devising ways to prevent these kinds of claims in the future,” Custodio added. “The entire insurance industry is certain to be looking at this case, because it could have ramifications in all kinds of situations. For example, what if someone contracts HIV from their partner in their partner’s home, and the partner didn’t reveal his medical issue—can you go after their home insurance for this?
“I predict we’ll all be getting notifications of changes to our insurance policies in the near future.”
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