ACC employee sues sexual abuse victim

A senior ACC employee is suing a sexual abuse victim over comments she made about him on an internet blog, Parliament was told today.

Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni raised the case when questioning ACC Minister Nick Smith about how victims of sexual abuse were treated by the organisation.

"Does he think fair treatment includes a senior medical adviser at ACC, Dr Peter Jansen, suing an ACC claimant, a victim of sexual abuse, for $250,000 for speaking her mind on a blog about the appalling treatment of sexual abuse victims under his watch?"

Ms Sepuloni also asked whether the minister would investigate how Dr Jansen had accessed private information about the woman to initiate legal action.

Answering on behalf of the minister, Cabinet Minister Tony Ryall said Dr Smith was always concerned about the victims of sexual abuse, and if Ms Sepluloni provided him with information about the case Dr Smith would address it.

"It is completely unacceptable if ACC staff have not been dealing with the victims of sexual abuse in a sympathetic and professional way," Mr Ryall said.

"I invite the member to immediately bring the information and concerns that she has to the minister's attention."

Ms Sepuloni was denied permission to make public a letter from Dr Jansen's legal representative to the woman accused of defamation.

A spokesman for Dr Smith said the minister had no knowledge of any legal action being taken by Dr Jansen until today, and that he had asked for an urgent report from ACC on the matter.

- NZPA

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