Geico must pay $5.2 million to a woman who caught HPV while having sex in an insured car

Originally published at: Geico must pay $5.2 million to a woman who caught HPV while having sex in an insured car | Boing Boing


Insurers are only a rung or two down from cops on the bastard scale, no tears from me on this.


Is the car thy only place they ever had (unprotected) sex?

Also, waiting for the new lawyer TV ads: “Have you had sex in this car? You may be entitled to compensation…”


And just like that, the story went viral.




This will never survive the inevitable appeal.


As much as I want to stick it to insurance companies - all this kind of thing does is offset more costs to consumers.


Why? The problem wasn’t the evidence, it was the process on the part of Geico. It’s like Alex Jones not showing up to court for lawsuits from the Sandy Hook parents or Elon Musk waiving due diligence on the Twitter acquisition. If you don’t even bother to do the bare minimum to defend yourself, the strength of the opposing argument is pretty much irrelevant. You didn’t even bother..

Their best bet was with arbitration and even the (corporate-friendly) arbiter sided against them.

Chelsea Peretti Eye Roll GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine

GEICO is part of Berkshire Hathaway. Their former CEO was given a $77M severance in 2020, and their new CEO made $13M in 2021. This ruling has no affect on consumer insurance rates comparrd to corporate profit-taking.


This right here. The insurer has both a contractual and legal duty to defend the person they insured by default and if they say that this is an exception and isn’t a case where they feel they are obligated to defend their insured, then they had better at least show up to defend that argument. Geico chose not to do any of this and therefore is reaping the rewards of their choices.


She had sex once and only in that car with that person? And the guy isn’t a HPV carrier? It’s difficult enough to ascribe responsibility for an STD to a certain person let alone a car. Did they culture the car, days later? This sounds too Onion-ish.


I could be wrong, and it is stupid that they didn’t go to the arbitration (somebody dropped the ball) but it’s what normally happens with ludicrous awards - they get dropped to something more reasonable on appeal. But, sure, this one could be different.

A default judgment can be vacated, but only if you had a reasonable excuse for failing to answer the Complaint. “I didn’t feel like it” doesn’t count. Nor would their likely justified denial of claims. Even if an insurance company thinks the matter is frivolous, they need to respond.


Doesn’t work that way with insurance cases. Arbitration is generally reserved for matters that do not directly involve insureds/outside parties such as:
Fights between insurance companies as to who pays the bills
Fights with medical providers over whether something is covered
State mandated arbitration relating to a court filed matter
Uninsured motorist claims: insured v. insurer


That’s true for jury trials but I don’t think it’s true for arbitration results. Arbitrators are notoriously corporate-friendly. If they awarded $5.2 M, then that’s likely to stand.


All the insurance company had to do is answer the Complaint and state they denied claims based on the damages not arising from “use and operation” of the vehicle.


This is one of those stories that will go viral in conservative circles because “OMG Tort Law Gone Wild Something Something Personal Responsibility” or whatever, but the actual story is completely different than the headlines (including BB’s) make it sound. The canonical example being McDonald’s and the lady burned by their coffee.

That said, I’ve read the linked story multiple times and still don’t understand what actually did happen here. :confounded:


This might help. Emphasis on the might…


I’m suddenly reminded of some telemarketer who was trying to get me to buy car insurance, despite telling him, right off the bat, that didn’t drive or have a car. He insisted that the insurance would be good for anything car-related, including, specifically and somewhat bizarrely, if a car “fell on” me. So in that context, this seems like a pretty reasonable ruling (even though that’s not what the ruling really was about).


They were still scamming you. It would only help if your car fell on you. If someone else’s car fell on you, it would go against their insurance.


What if a certain interior feature of the car was intimately involved in the sex? :wink: (sorry)