A former soldier who suffered post-traumatic stress after witnessing fatal rocket attacks and explosions while serving in Afghanistan has been awarded compensation.
In the landmark decision, Judge Maclean at the Wellington District Court has ruled the man is covered by ACC, owing to a series of events that left him traumatised from his 2009 tour.
One of the lawyers for the soldier, whose name is suppressed, John Miller said it's unfortunate both ACC and the Defence Force attempted to block compensation, by arguing the legislation only provides for trauma stemming from a single event.
He said it's ridiculous to argue that it's a pity there were two attacks instead of just the one - and that if he'd only witnessed one horror he'd be covered.
Miller said it was clear that's not in the spirit of the law
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
He said there was room in the legislation to cover a series of events that come from the same cause.
He said mental injury is a difficult claim to make.
New Zealand First defence spokesman Ron Mark said the law clearly needs to change.
He said all service personnel know they can expect to be put through multiple incidents of trauma, and that there will be a compound effect from that.