A solo mum who became pregnant after a failed sterilisation has lost her bid for weekly compensation after an 11-year battle with ACC.

In a judgment released today the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against an earlier High Court decision to deny the woman weekly compensation for loss of earnings while she stayed at home and raised her child.

The woman, known only as Ms J, became pregnant in 2006 after a botched sterilisation procedure eight years earlier.

She had previously been granted ACC cover for personal injury for her pregnancy and the time recovering after giving birth on the grounds of medical misadventure after clips that should have been attached to the fallopian tube were attached to the bladder.


The weekly compensation spanned the weeks from mid-May through to the end of July in 2006.

The mum then began a court battle against ACC for weekly loss of earnings to compensate for the time spent off work to care for her child.

But the Court of Appeal found while the pregnancy was deemed an injury the mum was not entitled to weekly compensation.

In the split decision two out of three justices found under law once the child was born Ms J was not prevented from working through personal injury but had been prevented from working by the need to care for the child.

Weekly compensation was only available for those that were still experiencing the physical and mental effects of injury.

However, the dissenting justice found Ms J was entitled to weekly loss of earnings compensation for the period that she was unable to work because of the need to care for her child.

Justice Stephen Kos said Ms J was incapacitated as a consequence of his or her personal injury.

She was unable to call on family or the father of the child to help her and did not have the financial resources to stop working for a time and care for her child.


Justice Kos said the child was the natural and inevitable consequence of the personal injury of pregnancy.

He believed she was entitled to weekly compensation as long as caring for her child prevented her from returning to work.