Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Asbestos – the Silent Killer

PRESS RELEASE

From Acclaim Support Groups NZ Network

(Supporting ACC Claimants)

Start

Asbestos – the Silent Killer

'Cowboys' are killing us, say Accident Compensation claimant support groups as they struggle to come to terms with a High Court decision last week that favours the Accident Compensation Corporation.

Late last week the Wellington High Court issued a decision upholding ACC’s appeal against a District Court decision that granted Mr. Lehmann, and others with a similar affliction, a $100,000 lump sum payment pursuant to the Injury Prevention Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001 for asbestos-related injuries. Unfortunately Mr. Lehman subsequently died as a direct result of his injury, which adds to the misery of his surviving family.

The District Court had previously held that claimants suffering from the horrific effects of asbestos-related injuries where entitled to a lump sum payout. However, the High Court decided otherwise, stating in its decision that affected claimants were not entitled to a lump sum payment and were only eligible for a $67 per week independence allowance. The Judge went on to say that the remedy would have to be an amendment to the legislation.

But claimant support groups say if people dying from asbestos or other toxic poisonings can be denied fair lump sum compensation under the Accident Compensation scheme then a right to sue for damages should immediately be restored in New Zealand, or ACC should sue manufacturers of 'dodgy' products for reckless endangerment on behalf of injured people under its obligations to prevent injuries and to protect public funds.

The ACC no-fault scheme came into force in 1974, which required people injured by accident to give up their right to sue for damages in exchange for fair compensation and comprehensive rehabilitation.

Acclaim Canterbury president, Murray Jorgensen said the dangers of asbestos have been known since the 1950's when cases started to come before the English Court of Appeal, particularly the successful Royal Naval Dockyard case. However, it appears little was done in New Zealand in the 1970's or 80's by manufacturers, employers or ACC to avoid human suffering and promote safety programmes, Mr. Jorgensen said.

From 1974, ACC was legally bound to take an active and co-ordinating role in the promotion of safety in all the different areas where accidents can occur in New Zealand to avoid human suffering and prevent wastage of manpower and so assist efficiency and productivity.

Mr. Jorgensen said we can see no evidence where ACC developed close working relationships with industry, commerce, Government departments, local authorities, and other bodies or organisations in promoting safety or preventing personal injury by accident

We can see no evidence where ACC joined with the Standards Council or other appropriate authority to support or recommend legislation, regulations, by-laws and codes of practice to promote safety and to prevent personal injury by accident, he said.

What has been allowed to happen in these asbestos cases flies in the face of the justifications when New Zealander's gave up their right to sue for damages. It has to be fixed by Government immediately moving to amend the legislation, Mr. Jorgensen said.

People like Mr. Lehmann were left out on a limb to ultimately suffer an untimely, horrendous death.

It remains to be seen whether or not ACC will demand its money back from the 26 people who have already received their compensation – shedding crocodile tears in the process.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election