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Car passenger hits legal roadblock on STD insurance claim


The Missouri Supreme Court stifled one of the more unusual auto insurance claims Tuesday when it ruled a woman who had contracted a sexually transmitted disease after liaisons in a Hyundai Genesis insured by GEICO could not collect damages from the insurer.

The intimate meetings between the unnamed consenting adults took place in November and December 2017, according to the ruling.

The woman contracted HPV from the man, who allegedly knew he was infected, and wrote to GEICO demanding it pay the bodily injury policy limit to compensate her. GEICO denied coverage saying it should only be on the hook for injuries arising “out of the ownership, maintenance or use” of the car, court papers say.

Separately, the man and woman agreed to go to arbitration with a provision that the woman would only pursue GEICO for any damages awarded to her. The arbiter awarded the woman $5.2 million. A lower court affirmed the award and denied GEICO’s efforts to intervene.

Because GEICO had the right to intervene prior to the award, the state high court overruled the lower court and an appeals court and remanded the case.