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Lehmann High Court decision: ACC defers repayment

ACC defers repayment until issues from recent Lehmann High Court decision resolved on appeal

The recent High Court decision in Estate of Lehmann v ACC has confirmed ACC’s view that claimants who were last exposed to asbestos in employment before 1 April 2002 were not entitled to lump sum compensation, but rather their correct entitlement was an independence allowance.

The lump sum compensation paid to the Estate of Lehmann is therefore an overpayment, however because the Estate is seeking leave to appeal the High Court’s decision to the Court of Appeal, the ACC Board has decided that the question of debt recovery should be deferred until after the appeal process ends.

There are a number of other claimants with similar fact situations, and ACC has filed 19 appeals in the District Court against review decisions which have awarded lump sum compensation to other claimants.

ACC has written to these claimants and advised them of the High Court’s decision in Estate of Lehmann.

ACC has advised them that if the High Court’s decision is upheld, the payment made in excess of the independence allowance entitlement will be an overpayment.

However, ACC has also advised that it will not ask the District Court to set these appeals down for hearing until after the Estate of Lehmann appeal process is concluded.

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