A woman plans to appeal to the High Court after an Accident Compensation Corporation decision not to pay a $250,000 medical bill she was left with when she fell seriously ill after having a flu jab.

Allison Cottle, who has permanent New Zealand residency but lives in Cleveland, in the United States, contracted a life-threatening illness a month after having the flu jab in New Zealand in March 2007.

A week after the vaccination known as Vaxigrip, she went to the United States on holiday, and was later diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes spinal paralysis, after suffering a suspected stroke, the Dominion Post reported today.

Mrs Cottle said the decision by ACC was unfair and had caused stress for both her and her husband.

Her lawyer, John Miller, said appeal papers had been filed in the High Court against an earlier court decision in favour of ACC.

Court documents showed Mrs Cottle suffered a suspected stroke, and was taken to a US hospital, where she was admitted to intensive care and not given medical clearance to return home until July.

She was faced with a medical bill of US$180,482 (NZ$250,000), which ACC said it would not pay.

When Mrs Cottle asked for the decision to be reviewed, ACC was ordered to pay for the treatment.

However, it had successfully challenged that review through the courts, with a judge finding the law was on ACC's side as the legislation stated that it should not pay for acute treatment received overseas.

An ACC spokesman said today that although ACC had every sympathy for Mrs Cottle's situation it did not have any legal discretion to make a different decision.

"To be quite clear, ACC has accepted Mrs Cottle's claim and has paid for a number of services for her," he said.

"However, our legislation is quite clear that we cannot pay for treatment received overseas. The court has upheld that position.

"We have every sympathy for her situation but, as noted by the judge, do not have any legal discretion to make a different decision."

- NZPA