Radiation victim calls ACC 'scumbags' as compensation saga drags on

Radiation poisoning victim Bryon O'Regan's has been battling to get compensation out of ACC.
Bevan Read

Radiation poisoning victim Bryon O'Regan's has been battling to get compensation out of ACC.

A man who has suffered years of agony from radiation poisoning will have to endure further pain as ACC put another hurdle between him and compensation.

Bryon O'Regan suffered for decades with debilitating episodes of nausea and diarrhoea after getting radiation poisoning from a surgery in 1979.

To receive compensation for his suffering, ACC told him he had to find someone to prove he worked at the time of his injury at Ace Bags in Palmerston North, which has long ceased to exist.

After a nationwide search found someone to corroborate his story, he was recently paid some compensation for a brief period.

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O'Regan, who now lives in Auckland, would not disclose what the amount was, but said it was "peanuts" considering his years of suffering.

He is now being made to see another doctor to help assess his level of sickness between 1979 and 2008.

Still battling ongoing health problems and exhaustion, O'Regan says he is losing patience and energy to keep fighting.

"I have just been too ill to do anything."

O'Regan hit out at ACC for continuously putting hurdles in front of him.

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"They are scumbags. They promised me a payout in December. I'm still waiting.

"It was promised in the beginning of December, then it was promised in the beginning of January."

ACC disputes that O'Regan was promised any payments by those times.

O'Regan saw a doctor at the beginning of February and is awaiting word of that assessment.

After his first payment he had hope of making progress.

"They started to [make progress], then it all turned to s... again, its back to rorts again. It is going on and on.

"I'm just at the end of my tether.

ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville said O'Regan received backdated compensation for the period 2008 – 2011.

Melville said ACC had O'Regan assessed by a specialist occupational physician to determine other possible periods of injury-related incapacity between 1979 and 2008

"We have received the report from that assessment and will keep Bryon advised of any progress in that matter."

Melville said a court decision in 2015, which went in O'Regan's favour, only related to the issue of his date of injury.

"It is not a decision about Mr O'Regan's injury-related incapacity."

Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway said the delay was an example of ACC going out of its way to deny someone compensation. 

"This is just ACC at its worst."

 - Stuff

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