Claimant seeking QC help in battle against ACC

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Long slog . . . Brett Kane has been battling with ACC since the 1990s. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

Timaru man Brett Kane is taking drastic measures in his battle with ACC.

He has decided to take out newspaper advertisements in the hope that a retired QC will take up his cause for free.

“I can’t afford a lawyer and the issues are a lot bigger than me, and complex. It should be pursued by MPs but they won’t do anything. Nothing might come of it but I’ve got to try.”

Mr Kane (48) worked in the diesel automotive industry where he says chemicals and fumes damaged his health, causing a brain injury, sensory issues and fatigue.

After ongoing problems, his health crashed severely in 1997.

“I can’t afford a lawyer and the issues are a lot bigger than me, and complex. It should be pursued by MPs but they won’t do anything.”

“It took a great deal to find a doctor to find out what had happened before I got the problem diagnosed.”

A claim was lodged with ACC in 1999 and declined.

Mr Kane lived on a sickness benefit and then an invalid benefit until ACC finally accepted his claim in 2012.

He believed his entitlement should have included interest from the claim and should have been approved.

Mr Kane said this and other ongoing issues he had with ACC could only be resolved with the help of a QC lawyer.

Warren Forster, a lawyer and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, said Mr Kane’s case had merit.

“For every $100 ACC started with they’ve turned it into $980; they’ve got billions of dollars and kept all the profits.

“When ACC gets things wrong, it doesn’t compensate properly.

“They’ve got a litigious approach not to pay interest. It’s a huge issue.”