Kansas City, Mo. ( Associated Press) — Zico may be required to pay $5.2 million to a Missouri woman after she said she contracted a sexually transmitted disease while having sex in the car of a company-insured man.
A three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld the Jackson County Court’s decision on Tuesday, confirming the arbitrator’s finding that the woman was entitled to the award.
However, Maryland-based Geico has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the woman’s claim is not covered by the man’s insurance policy. The company said in an email Thursday that the lawsuit will determine “whether there is coverage in this case.”
According to court documents, the woman, identified as the MO, and a man, who were in a relationship, had sex in the man’s car. She argued that she contracted HPV, the human papillomavirus, because the man did not tell her he had the disease. HPV can cause cervical cancer, some other cancers, and genital warts.
In February 2021, Moe informed Geico that he planned to enter a $1 million insurance settlement against the man. She argued that the man’s auto insurance provided coverage for his injuries and damages.
According to court documents, the insurance company refused the settlement offer saying that the woman’s claim was not due to her normal use of the vehicle.
An arbitrator ultimately determined that he should be awarded $5.2 million for damages and his injuries. He then filed a motion in Jackson County Court seeking confirmation of the award.
Geico claimed that he did not know that the man and woman had entered into arbitration and when he found out, he sought to intervene in the court’s case. The company argued that the arbitration award was obtained through collusion and fraud, violated its rights to due process and was unenforceable.
The lower court rejected Geico’s requests and confirmed the award, prompting the insurance company’s appeal because it said it did not have a “meaningful opportunity” to defend its interests, according to court documents.
The appeals court found that Geico did not have the right to “re-sue” the issues after the award was confirmed.