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West Nile victim awarded $130,000; Feds protect foreign strippers; Park wardens need guns: Officer
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/31/2007

West Nile victim awarded $130,000


— A plasterer who was bitten by a mosquito while working outdoors applying stucco to buildings has been awarded $130,000 by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Ryszard Kolbuc was bitten in the summer of 2002, contracted West Nile and, within three weeks, the 52-year-old was a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair. Kolbuc was insured through his union with Ace Ina Insurance under a group accident policy. Ace Ina refused to pay, arguing what happened to Kolbuc was a disease, not an accident. A lower court agreed, but the Court of Appeal overturned the ruling last month. “An accident can cause a disease,” the Court of Appeal said. “For example, if a sailor is shipwrecked at sea and develops an illness from exposure to the elements, his injury is caused by an accident.” In 2002, there were more than 390 human cases of West Nile in Ontario. But the number has dropped significantly, with only 42 reported last year.