This may be the weirdest personal injury insurance claim I’ve yet come across.
The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that insurance giant Geico had to pay $5.2 million in damages to a woman after she was infected with Human Papilloma Virus while engaging in intimate activities in someone else’s insured personal vehicle.
The claim was initiated in February of 2021 after the woman learned she had contracted HPV from an infected sexual partner who knew he was infected, but did not disclose his status. Because the incident which infected her and caused injury occurred in the partner’s car, and her partner was clearly liable, she argued she had endured personal injury which was not her fault, and that his liability insurance was therefore responsible for the damages.
There’s more at the link.
Note, too, that this is the verdict on appeal. The initial arbitrator found in favor of the plaintiff, and Geico appealed – only to lose in court, too.
I don’t know what to think about this. If one twists the average personal liability and accidental insurance policy into a pretzel, there may be legalese in the language that justifies this sort of damage award. On the other hand, the woman was willingly and voluntarily engaged in the activity that led to her “injury”. Doesn’t that make her a co-respondent in the matter, and mean that she has to carry at least part of the blame for the “damage” she suffered?
I know one thing for sure. After this, every insurance company is going to have its lawyers going through its personal liability and accidental injury boilerplate with a fine-toothed comb, to weed out any language that might be used to justify an award like this. Expect a rash of amendments to vehicle and liability insurance policies Real. Soon. Now.