Deanna Trevarthen, who died in 2016 at the age of 45, was one of New Zealand’s youngest sufferers of mesothelioma, or asbestos-related lung cancer.
However, ACC says cover for the illness is only available for people who inhale asbestos at work, not in other circumstances. Ms Trevarthen’s claim had earlier been turned down by an ACC reviewer and a District Court judge.
Ms Trevarthen’s father worked as an electrician and she was exposed to asbestos as a child, when he came home after work and hugged her and played with her. She also sometimes visited building sites where the toxic material was present.
Her family’s lawyer, Beatrix Woodhouse told Justice Mallon that if ACC had covered Ms Trevarthen it could have helped her live longer.
“One advantage of ACC cover is treatment such as Keytruda and … the effect of this treatment is it can extend one’s life. Therefore, ACC cover potentially equates to prolonging one’s life.”
Ms Woodhouse told the court mesothelioma almost exclusively arises from inhalation of asbestos and the question was could Ms Trevarthen’s exposure to it be classed as an accident under the ACC legislation.
Justice Mallon reserved her decision. We will keep you posted…
Represented by JOHN MILLER LAW
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