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Accident Compensation Cases

Adams v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 26/09/06)

Judgment Text

Judge M J Beattie
By Notice of Appeal dated 23 July 2004, the appellant lodged an appeal with this Court against a Review Decision given on 22 June 2004, which decision had confirmed the respondent's primary decision of 3 December 2003, to decline the appellant's claim for cover for personal injury by medical misadventure. 
The appellant has represented herself throughout the time this matter has been before this Court, and was in correspondence with the Registry from an address in Christchurch. The appellant also corresponded with the Registry by way of email. 
Little progress was made towards having this appeal set down for hearing despite requests from the Registry that the appellant filed and serve her submissions in support of the appeal in accordance with the Practice Note. 
The last contact which the Registry had with the appellant was a letter of 2 October 2005 in which the appellant advised that she was seeking a report from a general radiologist. She also advised that she was waiting an appointment to undergo an assessment at Burwood Hospital. 
Despite further correspondence by email, the Registry has had no further contact with or from the appellant. 
By letter dated 25 August 2006, the Registrar wrote to the appellant advising her that the appeal would be called on 26 September 2006. That letter was sent to the appellant's last known address as given by her, but the registered letter was returned as it could not be delivered. The Registry has also been advised that the email address previously provided by the appellant was no longer current and therefore the email messages to confirm the information contained in the registered letter could similarly not be delivered. 
When the matter came before me on 26 September 2006, Mr Hlavac for the respondent made application pursuant to Section 161(3)(b) of the Act to have the appeal dismissed for want of prosecution on the basis that the appellant had taken no active steps to prosecute her appeal and had effectively made herself incommunicable. That application was supported by Mr Lewis on behalf of the third party. 
Having considered the facts, as I have set them out above, I find that this is a case where the appellant has failed to prosecute her appeal and further, she has failed to keep the Registry informed of her whereabouts and of her intentions regarding this appeal. 
Accordingly, I rule that this appeal is dismissed for want of prosecution, in accordance with Section 161(3)(b) of the Act. 

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