A Waitara man who injured his arm while artificially inseminating a cow has won $3000 in an ACC appeal.
Colin Oakes, 58, tore tendons in his shoulder while leaning over a railing to reach inside a cow on a farm near Auroa, South Taranaki.
"I was completely at the wrong angle and I just felt something tear," he said.
"I just carried on because I'm just that type of person."
Last week the Wellington District Court released the reserved decision of Judge Martin Beattie, which confirmed Mr Oakes had injured his shoulder in the accident and was entitled to be covered under the Accident Compensation Corporation Act 2001. The judgment overturned three prior decisions which did not allow his claim.
Mr Oakes, an artificial insemination technician, had been employed by the Livestock Improvement Corporation for 34 years when the accident happened in October 2010.
Artificial insemination is a cost-effective method of reproduction done by placing a straw of semen inside a cow, and reduces the need for farmers to keep bulls.
Mr Oakes was leaning over a pipe rail balancing on one leg and reaching into the cow with his right arm when he felt the pain.
He said he would usually stand directly behind the cow and freely admitted he had been in an unusual position to perform the procedure.
"All my angles were wrong. I had my hand up the cow's bum and I felt the whole side of my arm just rip."
A few weeks later the pain was not subsiding and he went to a physiotherapist, and then his doctor.
His employer's ACC claims administrator WellNZ referred Mr Oakes to an occupational medicine specialist, Dr David Ruttenburg, who declined his application for cover.
Mr Oakes called for a review and following a hearing in December 2011, it was decided the tear in his tendon was not caused by the accident but was rather pre-existing degeneration.
At the time the decision was being made, Mr Oakes was having surgery to fix his shoulder.
Reports from his surgeon and the doctors involved were collected for his appeal of the decision, which was heard in Wellington in July.
Mr Oakes said while he was satisfied his claim had finally been approved, he was unhappy he had to spend two years fighting for it.
"It should never have gone that far. I was pretty angry."
Mr Oakes recovered fully and has returned to work.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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