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Negligence Claim Struck Out The King can do no wrong

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 02:41 PM

In the attached decisoin, Associate Judge Christiansen struck out a claim against ACC involving negligence and ordered the plaintiff to pay ACC's costs, after determining that section 317 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001 barred the claim. IMHO, this case is useful for its analysis of the extent of s317 and how far the Courts are willing to immunise ACC from the adverse consequences of its behaviour. ACC afficionados may remember Associate Judge Christiansen at the centre of a rather messy civil dispute some years ago, in which he was accused of sexually abusing a clerical worker of the Justice Department while hearing cases away from home. Readers will be pleased to know that, not only was Associate Judge Christiansen cleared of the allegations, he was also promoted from the District Court to the High COurt, although only as an Associate Judge, not a full one. Any speculation as to whether Associate Judge Christiansen's alleged misconduct was either so heinous to disqualify him from full promotion, or whether it was insufficiently heinous to qualify him for it, is thoroughly mischievous and must be firmly eschewed. In any event, the learned Associate Judge is clearly performing the requirements of his office by strking out claims by people alleging they were harmed by ACC's famously high standards of claims management.

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