In the series “Incredible but true”… The Missouri Court of Appeals (United States) indicated that an automobile insurance company must pay the modest sum of 5.2 million dollars to one of its customers , who said he unwittingly caught a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in a car insured by the company in question.
The website Yahoo News (Source 1), which relayed the information, specifies that a panel of three judges of the Missouri Court concluded that a judgment rendered against the General Insurance Company (GEICO), through a prior arbitration proceeding, was indeed valid. The company in question had appealed the court decision, citing legal errors.
The woman had reported contracting human papillomavirus (HPV), contracted during unprotected sex that took place in a GEICO-insured vehicle. The man would have knowingly infected him, because he knew he was carrying the virus and had nevertheless opted for an unprotected relationship. He was thus convicted for not disclosing his HIV status, and his company was then ordered to pay 5.2 million dollars for the retention.
The three-judge panel hearing the case concluded that the court did not err in denying the company’s motions, saying GEICO had no right to “challenge these matters.” once the damages had been determined and a judgment had been entered.
What about STIs contracted at home?
Interviewed by the Mail onlinepersonal injury lawyer Miguel Custodio revealed that this decision could set a precedent in the future. “If you consider that an injury sustained in that person’s vehicle, that’s totally within what an insurance company has to pay“, he said, stating that usually, insurance will prefer injuries related to road accidents, or fingers stuck in a door. In view of the amount obtained by the suspect, it is “entirely reasonable to sue an insurance company for any action occurring in a motor vehicle“added the lawyer. Quite rightly, the latter wondered about the fact of contracting HIV following unprotected sex with a partner who knows he is positive: could one then sue his home insurance and win the case?