ACC assault case 'undecided'

By Martin Johnston

John Minchinton. Photo / Steven McNicholl
John Minchinton. Photo / Steven McNicholl

The ACC has pulled back from stating that some of the ailments of a claimant who was assaulted are due to degeneration, the man said last night.

Aucklander John Minchinton, 58, said in the Herald yesterday that ACC had told him numbness and pain he began to suffer after he was bashed in 2010 was due to degeneration. But last night he said his ACC case manager told him after the article was published that ACC had not made a decision on that part of his case.

Mr Minchinton, who receives earnings-related compensation from ACC, is also riled that it has asked him to hand over more than $11,000 he received from his employer - for his notice period and unused leave. ACC said last night that it was within its rights to seek this money.

The corporation last night also responded to assertions that it publicly misrepresents the wording of its legislation on degeneration. The statute permits ACC not to provide cover if ageing or a non-work gradual process are the whole or substantial cause of an injury. In a statement, ACC did not address the allegation of misrepresentation, but said: "We paraphrase legislation to communicate its intent in plain English."

When advisers said that the condition requiring surgery was more likely to have been caused by a disease or gradual process, the link to a person's injury could not usually be established - unless the accident was assessed to have made a clinically material contribution.

- NZ Herald

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