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Lovers Lane sign. (Credit: PAUL FARMER/Wikicommons) In a concurring opinion, Judge Tom Chapman wrote that he believes that GEICO was offered “no meaningful opportunity to participate” in the lawsuit, and that existing law “relegat[es] the insurer to the status of a bystander,” which could be important for insurance litigation in the future. (Credit: PAUL FARMER/Wikicommons)
The Missouri Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, that an insurance company must pay a $5.2 million settlement granted to a woman who claimed she unwittingly caught a sexually transmitted disease from her former romantic partner in his car which was covered by the insurer.

In its opinion, the three-judge panel found that the judgment entered against GEICO General Insurance Company during earlier arbitration proceedings was valid. The insurer sought to undo the action, and claimed that there were errors made at the lower court level, and that the settlement agreement was not in line with Missouri law.

According to the suit, M.O., the unnamed defendant, notified GEICO in early February 2021 of her intention to seek monetary damages, alleging that she contracted the human papillomavirus (HPV) from an insured during intercourse in his automobile. She argued that the insured caused her to be infected with the STD despite being aware of his medical condition and the risks of unprotected sex. GEICO declined the statement and sent the case to arbitration.

Hannah Smith JD

 

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