The recent District Court decision of KB v ACC highlights how difficult it is for injured claimants to obtain ACC cover for work related mental injury where there has been no preceding physical injury. Where there has been no physical injury, for a claimant to get ACC cover for a work related mental injury, they must have experienced an event that would cause people to suffer that mental injury generally. In KB v ACC, the Court found that the claimant’s mental injury was not caused by a single event, but rather an accumulation of work related stress.
Consequently, in a case like this where the mental injury is not covered by ACC, the claimant is not precluded from bringing an employment or common law action against her employer or otherwise. In complex cases like this, we recommend getting legal advice early in the process – as time limits for bringing an action against an employer may run out while ACC is being pursued.