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Unprotected sex leads to paralysis, costs $200K claim

Randolph Gibbens contracted genital herpes in 2003 after unprotected sex.

News18test sharma |

Updated:December 19, 2009, 12:21 PM IST
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Unprotected sex leads to paralysis, costs $200K claim
Randolph Gibbens contracted genital herpes in 2003 after unprotected sex.

Toronto: Unprotected sex led to paralysis and cost a Canadian man his $200,000 medical insurance claim.

Throwing out his hefty medical claim on Friday, the Canadian Supreme Court said unprotected sex that leads to disabling diseases is not an "accident" entitling the victim to insurance benefits.

Randolph Gibbens, a former high-pressure water blaster in Vancouver, contracted genital herpes in 2003 after unprotected sex with three women.

The herpes virus later attacked his spine and paralyzed him from his abdomen down.

He filed the hefty insurance claim against the Co-operators Life Insurance Company, saying that his paralysis was an unnatural accident.

When the insurance company moved the lower provincial court in Vancouver against his claim, the court sided with the man, saying that his paralysis was indeed an unnatural outcome of having unprotected sex.

In its ruling, the lower court also said that though the man's sexual behaviour was foolish, it didn't amount to "inordinate risk."

Later, a court of appeal also favoured the man, forcing the insurance company to move the nation's Supreme Court.

Delivering its unanimous verdict, the apex court said the man's paralysis was not an accident, quashing his $200,000 health insurance claim.

Granting Gibbens the insurance claim would "stretch the boundaries of an accident policy beyond the snapping point," the supreme court said.

Overturning the ruling of the lower court, the apex court said that "Mr. Gibbens' paralysis was tragic and unexpected", but it was not "caused by 'external, violent and accidental means' within the meaning of the insurance policy.

"In the case of Mr Gibbens we are dealing with a disease transmitted in the ordinary course of having sex."

As per the court definition, unprotected sex leading to diseases thus doesn't remain an accident entitling the victim to health insurance benefits in Canada.

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