Woman who fell pregnant after botched sterilisation operation has ACC claim thrown out

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NZN

A woman's claim she lost weekly earnings because she stayed at home to care for her child after a failed sterilisation has been thrown out by the Court of Appeal.

A doctor examines a pregnant woman.

The solo mother, only known as Ms J, underwent a sterilisation operation in April, 1998.

The operation ultimately failed and the woman fell pregnant and gave birth in 2006.

A claim Ms J made with ACC for cover following the failed sterilisation was declined in 2006, but after a Supreme Court decision in another case, ACC accepted her renewed bid for cover in 2012.

But Ms J was only granted cover for the term of the pregnancy and "the physiological impacts of pregnancy", which ends shortly after the birth of the child, according to the Court of Appeal ruling issued on Monday.

Although the court said Ms J's child was plainly a consequence of the "personal injury of pregnancy", it also stated Ms J has recovered and "an entitlement for weekly compensation turns on the claimant's 'incapacity' for employment".

"She is not injured. She requires no rehabilitation. Therefore she is not entitled to weekly compensation," the ruling concludes.

There was no order on costs as Ms J was on legal aid and ACC did not seek costs from her.

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