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Accident Compensation Cases

Sinclair v Accident Compensation Corporation (DC, 23/08/13)

Judgment Text

Judge M J Beattie
This is a case where the appellant has lodged an appeal to this Court from a review decision dated 8 October 2010, whereby the Reviewer determined that the primary decision of ACC's Complaints Investigator of 31 March 2010, determining that there had been no breach of Right 5 of the Code of ACC's Claimants Rights of 2002 was not a Code matter and that the issue in question had in fact been considered and determined in a separate review decision. 
The complaint which the appellant had made to the Office of the Complaints Investigator (OCI) was that ACC had not sent Dr Rajiah full information relating to Ms Sinclair's injury situation, as it had been requested to undertake consequent upon the review decision of Ms Stringleman of 16 July 2009. 
I have considered the circumstances of this appeal and find that it is the case that in accordance with section 149(3) of the Act, neither a claimant nor the Corporation can appeal to the District Court against a review decision from a decision by the Corporation under the Code on a complaint by the claimant. 
This is clearly a case where the appellant made a complaint under the Code, and even though it was determined, firstly by OCI and then the Reviewer, that the substantive matter in question was not a matter which could be brought by way of complaint under the Code as it particularly required the matter in question to be attended to pursuant to a review hearing decision, nevertheless the fact that such an appeal cannot be had still applies, and therefore I rule that there is no jurisdiction to hear this appeal, and this appeal is therefore dismissed. 
Having made this decision it is probably relevant to note that the substantive issue which was the basis for the appellant, through her Advocate, bringing the matter to the Code on a complaint has now, in effect, been determined by this Court in the substantive issue pertaining to the appellant's claim for cover for a mental injury, and where the decision of this Court in relation to that claim has been made in the appellant's favour, and cover for a mental injury has been granted. Thus it is the case that the Court's decision in this appeal has in fact not affected the appellant detrimentally. 

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