15 Apr 2011

Senior ACC adviser suing sexual abuse victim

6:10 am on 15 April 2011

The ACC Minister has ordered an urgent report after learning a senior medical adviser at the corporation is suing a sexual abuse victim for $250,000 over comments she made on a blog.

The Accident Compensation Corporation says Peter Jansen is taking the legal action in a private capacity.

The case was highlighted in Parliament by the Labour Party during Question Time on Thursday.

Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni asked ACC Minister Nick Smith whether it was fair for Dr Jansen to sue an ACC claimant "for speaking her mind on a blog about the appalling treatment of sexual abuse victims under his watch".

Dr Smith was not in Parliament to respond to the question. Answering on his behalf, Health Minister Tony Ryall replied that if Ms Sepuloni has information on the case she can bring it to the minister.

Dr Smith said late on Thursday afternoon that he had just heard about the matter and has requested an urgent report.

The minister said the situation is highly unusual and expects a "no surprises" approach from government departments.

Outside the House, Ms Sepuloni has questioned who will pay for Dr Jansen's legal fees, given that he was working for ACC at the time the complaint relates to.