19 Nov 2009

ACC bill 'risks reintroducing right to sue'

5:32 pm on 19 November 2009

MPs have heard that some proposed changes to accident compensation cover may result in the reintroduction of the right to sue.

One of the primary tenets of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) system is that New Zealanders are covered for accidents and forgo the right to sue.

A select committee is hearing submissions on a bill which includes the introduction of a 6% threshold for hearing loss claims.

But the ACC Futures Coalition says that means for the first time in the scheme's history an injury is being removed from cover.

Its spokesperson, Wellington lawyer Hazel Armstrong, says the move would be a field day for litigators such as herself.

ACC Minister Nick Smith says the Government is committed to a 24/7 no-fault scheme.

ACC provides comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents, and visitors to New Zealand.