ACC ordered to pay

ROB KIDD
Last updated 05:00 12/08/2012

Relevant offers

Politics

No Treaty breach in TPPA: Waitangi Tribunal findings follow committee report NZ's foreign trust review slammed as 'limited' by Transparency International Next London High Commissioner 'not a politician', says Government John Key says Panama Papers leak a cautionary tale for Kiwi businesses Timaru mayor hopes for tourist funds in budget New entrepreneurs visa to boost New Zealand's reputation for innovation RMA reforms ignore 'invisible legions' who want housing: Environment Commissioner Huge fee hike approved for Overseas Investment Office Unicef head Deborah Morris-Travis new Green Party chief of staff Labour leader Andrew Little's 'healthy homes' bill passes first reading

The weight of a death in the family is a heavy burden to bear, but for a 45-year-old woman the pain of losing her father was compounded by an injury suffered at his funeral.

Adding insult to that injury, ACC declined her application for surgery, a decision overturned in a Dunedin court last week.

In August 2009, Angela Griffiths acted as a pall-bearer at the ceremony and helped carry her father's casket 50 metres from the church to the hearse. Being at the back of the coffin, she was the last person to hold its weight as she loaded it into the vehicle and as her arms were raised above her head she felt a “sharp pulling sensation” in her right shoulder.

Her GP later diagnosed it as a rotator cuff injury and she was treated with anaesthetic injections after X-rays revealed the damage.

By March 2010, the pain had not subsided and Griffiths was referred to orthopaedic surgeon Chris Williams, who three months later lodged an application with ACC for funding of elective surgery, asserting that his client's condition was the result of the original injury at the funeral.

The application was declined after the Clinical Advisory Panel said “a single episode injury has not been established”.

Williams was adamant Griffiths should be covered but the panel advised the injuries were more likely the result of degeneration or “repetitive microtrauma”.

Last week Dunedin District Court judge Martin Beattie ruled the injury was probably caused by her arm being in an unusual position and he ordered ACC pay the cost of surgery. Griffiths was also awarded costs of $3000.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday Star Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content