Hetariki & Ors. v.
AM Legal Compensation Lawyers acted on behalf of the dependents of an individual sadly fatally injured in a car accident on the way home from work. The accident arose prior to the 2012 Workers Compensation Legislative Amendments so the Section 3A requirement [to current journey claims] that there must be a “real and substantial connection between the employment and the accident” did not apply. However, the Section 10 (1) (b) that says an injury or death was due to the wilful and serious misconduct of the victim or deceased will not be a compensable work journey and the evidence of intoxicating drugs or alcohol are deemed to constitute wilful and serious misconduct unless those substances did not contribute to the accident in any way. It did apply to the case. The insurer argued that it should apply and defeat the case because there was evidence that there had been cannabis in the deceased’s system. AM Legal Compensation Lawyers successfully argued that the cannabis did not contribute in any way. It presented toxicological evidence in support of this that was accepted by the Workers Compensation Commission. The deceased’s dependents were successful on the issue of liability and the claim was not defeated by the wilful misconduct provisions referred to.