22 Jun 2009

ACC, meat company settle long-running battle

8:05 pm on 22 June 2009

The Accident Compensation Corporation has settled a long-running million-dollar battle with the AFFCO meat company.

The dispute arose after one of the company's workers was shot in April 2003 in the car park of the Wairoa sheep and beef plant in northern Hawke's Bay.

Police suspected it was a gang-related attack and that the victim, Joel Storey, was fired at by mistake.

Mr Storey was paralysed from the waist down and is confined to a wheelchair.

In 2007, ACC withdrew from mediation with the meat company over compensation for the injuries he sustained.

It argued that the shooting occurred in the workplace and billed AFFCO for $1 million.

AFFCO maintained the worker was on a tea break and that the car park was outside the workplace.

ACC and AFFCO have settled their dispute, agreeing to share the costs of Mr Storey's claim.

Auckland barrister Keith Reid, who worked for ACC, says a court decision would have been binding, with implications for other companies. But because the dispute was settled out of court it should not set a precedent.