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Accident Compensation Cases

SA v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 11/06/13)

Judgment Text

Roderick Joyce QC Judge
Application and background 
This is one of five cases where the respective applicants seek leave to appeal to the High Court on a question of law which, in one form at least, has already been before and determined by the High Court1
| X |Footnote: 1
ACC v Vandy HC Wellington, CIV-2010-485-001331, 25 November 2010 
The High Court judgment in question, commonly now simply referred to as Vandy, has had far-reaching consequences and, in a number of cases, has led to outcomes in this Court which in terms of sheer fairness are hard to support. 
Warwick Gendall J, who decided Vandy, was very much alive to that prospect. He nevertheless considered that, given the language of the statute, no option was available to the High Court but to determine the question of law before him in terms that would (to give two examples) effectively deny weekly compensation on account incapacity to a range of claimants who were not in employment when the actual or total consequences of earlier injuries became apparent or who, on account youth, had not reached an employable age when actually injured. 
Mr John Miller acts as counsel for the present applicant and those others whose cases are likewise in question at this point. He and the Corporation (Ms Lisa Rice) are agreed that it is appropriate (should it be the case that this Court accepts their joint view, as it does, that in light of Vandy leave to appeal on a question of law must be refused in this Court) that these five cases go to the High Court together on applications for special leave. 
There they would join Valerie Murray2
| X |Footnote: 2
Murray v ACC [2013] NZACC 64 ACR 717/10
which is already before the High Court on an application for special leave. 
As to the present application (and for that matter those others in the same or a like category) it is my view that, for the reasons basically adverted to by me in Murray, all of the present applications must be declined. 
I say that because, although in one or more of the individual cases that are the subject of judgment today there are differences, the fundamental impediment to this Court granting leave lies in it surely being bound to adhere to Vandy
I add that I understand that, whatever the ultimate outcomes in the High Court, one party or the other would seek to pursue the crucial matters to and/or in the Court of Appeal. 
This application for leave to appeal to the High Court on a question of law is dismissed. 

ACC v Vandy HC Wellington, CIV-2010-485-001331, 25 November 2010 
Murray v ACC [2013] NZACC 64 ACR 717/10

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