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Ontario Court Awards Compensation To Paralyzed Worker

A polish migrant in Canada has termed as thrilling and relieving, after four tough years a court victory that entitles him to a compensation of 130, 000 US dollars.

Ryszard Kolbuc won a lawsuit challenging his insurer Ace Ina Insurer ,when they refused to pay him accident coverage after he got paralyzed, during work. The incident that led to his incapacitation was an insect bite by a mosquito carrying the West Nile virus.

The accident took place in 2002 when Kolbuc, a mason was plastering some buildings. The effects of the insect bite were so severe that Kolbuc became a paraplegic three weeks later, at the age of 52.

According to Chris Paliare, Kolbucs appeal lawyer, the court decision is a major victory in their battle against a January 2006 judgment that deemed Kolbuc's bite was not an accident but a result of "natural causes."

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes that have first bitten an infected bird. A person bitten by an infected mosquito may show symptoms three to 15 days after the bite.

The virus usually results in a mild illness known as West Nile fever, which can cause fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands, or a rash. However, a small number of individuals can develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other neurological syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.

In 2002, more than 390 cases of West Nile virus were reported in Ontario, 19 of whom died. The Ontario Ministry of Health notes that only four of those deaths can be "directly attributed" to West Nile.

There has been a sharp decline in West Nile cases in Ontario since 2002, with only 42 cases reported last year.


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