Missouri court in US orders insurance company to pay woman RM22.9m after she contracts STD in car

·1-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — An insurance company in the US has been ordered to pay US$5.2 million (RM22.9 million) to a woman after she claimed she contracted a sexually transmitted disease in a car insured by the company.

A court in Missouri upheld a judgment against Geico on Tuesday that awarded the money to the woman, who was referred to as “M.O.” in court documents, CBS News reported.

In her complaint filed last year, M.O. had claimed she caught the human papillomavirus (HPV) from having sex in 2017 with a male partner in his 2014 Hyundai Genesis, which was covered by Geico.

The woman, who learned she was infected with HPV in 2018, claimed the man knew he had HPV but failed to inform her, leaving her with “past and future medical expenses” and “mental and physical pain and suffering.”

The woman alerted Geico that she was pursuing legal action against the man, claiming that she was negligently infected in the vehicle and that the car insurance policy should provide coverage for her injuries and losses.

M.O. had asked Geico for US$1 million (RM4.4 million) but the claim was rejected by the company.

M.O. and the man then entered arbitration, and the arbitrator found that the man had negligently infected her and awarded damages of US$5.2 million to M.O., which were to be paid by Geico.

Geico appealed against the judgment, but the Missouri court ruled on Tuesday that the insurer lacked legal grounds to appeal on several points, including that it “had no right to relitigate” issues after liability and damages had been set by an arbitrator and confirmed by a trial court.

Responding to the decision, Geico said the company would appeal.

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