Who knew car insurance companies could be forced to cover sexually transmitted infections that are caught while inside an insured vehicle? In a bizarre court ruling, insurance company Geico must pay $5.2 million to a woman, referred to as "M.O.," who contracted HPV in her now ex-boyfriend's insured car while they had unprotected sex.
Geico's mistake, it seems, was turning down the claim rather than contesting it.
From NBC News:
After Geico turned down her claim, M.O. took the matter to an arbitrator, who found in her favor before a court affirmed the $5.2 million judgment, the appeals court said.
In federal court papers, Geico has said it never had any responsibility to defend the boyfriend, identified only as "M.B.," because it should be on the hook only for damages coming "out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the … auto." …
"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," according to the appeals court opinion, which put the word "did" in bold italics. …
The insurance company has "no right to relitigate those issues" now in appeal, the court said.
GEICO hopes to settle this with a better outcome in Federal court.