West Nile virus not an ‘accident’

Construction worker who was paralyzed after being bitten by mosquito while at work denied $130,000 insurance claim by Ontario court
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Is a mosquito bite an accident? That’s the question an Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge was facing in a recent case involving a worker who contracted the West Nile virus after being bitten by a mosquito.

Ryszard Kolbuc was left paralyzed from the waist down from the virus after being bitten by a mosquito sometime in September 2002 while applying stucco to the outside of houses and buildings. When he was bit, Kolbuc was a healthy 52-year-old. His evidence, which was uncontradicted, was that the material he used in the course of his employment had a smell that attracted mosquitoes.

At the time he was bitten, Kolbuc was insured through his union with Ace Ina Insurance under a group accident policy. At issue in this case was whether his injury was caused by an “accident” as defined in the policy.