Toomey v ACC (2017)

Bill Toomey described the post-quake scene at the PGC building in February 2011 as “horrific”

In the aftermath of February 2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, Mr Toomey, a self employed builder, courageously drove to the city centre to see whether he could be of any assistance. The Fire Service called upon his building expertise to help them in enter the PGC building and assist in the rescue of those who were trapped and seriously injured. Sometime after these disturbing events, Mr Toomey was diagnosed with PTSD, however ACC declined to cover his mental injury. In the District Court hearing, Ms Newman successfully argued that Mr Toomey was not working as a volunteer, but that he was at work because he was under the direction of the Fire Service, and although he was not being paid, he was self-employed, and a self-employed person is not paid in each and every situation even though they are working. The Court agreed, finding that there should not be a disincentive for someone like Mr Toomey not to co-operate with the Fire Service or the Police during emergencies where their skills were called upon. ACC will now cover his injury as a work related accident.

Represented by JOHN MILLER LAW
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