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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Accident Compensation Cases

Kerr v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 05/02/04)

Judgment Text

Judge M J Beattie
The appellant has applied for leave to appeal to the High Court against the decision in this Court of His Honour Judge A W Middleton issued on 12 September 2002 under Decision No.252/02. 
The Court has received written submissions from Mr G E Minchin, Counsel for the Appellant, and from Miss F Becroft, Counsel for the Respondent. The Respondent opposes the granting of leave on the grounds that the decision appealed from was not a decision on a question of law. 
The issue which was for determination in the appeal before His Honour was whether the respondent's decision of 15 June 2001, revoking the appellant's cover for a particular condition, was correct. 
The background facts were that the appellant had suffered a head injury in an assault in January 1990 and was granted cover for that injury. 
The medical evidence received by His Honour was that the appellant was not suffering the ongoing effects of any head injury but rather was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and which condition he found on the medical evidence was not attributable to the head injury. 
His Honour found that the appellant's ongoing condition was associated with his schizophrenia and earlier substance abuse and he found as a fact that those were not matters for which the appellant was entitled to cover and entitlements. His Honour found that the Corporation had to some extent allowed that condition to come under the umbrella of the cover originally granted for the head injury and that situation required a decision to revoke that cover and His Honour found that the decision made was appropriate and correct. 
The decision sought to be appealed is a decision which I find that was made entirely upon the medical evidence that His Honour considered. He made certain findings of fact on that evidence and nowhere were any issues of law called upon to be determined. 
Section 165 of the Accident Insurance Act 1998 allows for a party who is dissatisfied with a decision of the District Court as being wrong in law to apply for leave to appeal to the High Court. That section requires that the issue sought to be determined by the High Court be a question of law. It is only where a question of law is in issue that leave can be granted. On the facts of the present appeal I am satisfied that no question of law is involved and leave to appeal is accordingly declined. 

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