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Saturday, January 14, 2023

GEICO can intervene over sex-in-car case

The story of the woman who sued her former partner for infecting her with HPV during a sexual encounter in his car gained attention in June. I offered the case as the latest example of journalistic malpractice in covering the court, where stories snickered about the prospect of a multi-million judgment over car sex, ignoring that the case involved a narrow procedural question--whether GEICO should have been allowed to intervene in the state action to affirm the arbitration award, without (at this point) considering whether sex is an ordinary use of a car triggering coverage..

The story returned to the news last week, when the Supreme Court of Missouri ruled that the trial court erred in denying intervention. GEICO moved within 30 days of receiving notice that it (rather than its insured) was the litigation target and before the trial court entered judgment; state law grants intervention as of right.

The case returns to the trial court, with GEICO able to argue that it is not required to cover. GEICO's federal DJ action, also seeking to avoid coverage, remains pending. Both courts must decide whether sex constitutes an ordinary-and-expected use of a car triggering insurance. Let the snickering resume.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on January 14, 2023 at 02:41 PM in Civil Procedure, Howard Wasserman, Judicial Process | Permalink

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