Unsafe sex leaves man paralysed, costs $200k claim

Not an accident

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 paralysed 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 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: “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 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.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry