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Soldier wins battle for stress cover

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/11/2016

A former soldier has won his battle for compensation after he was initially refused cover because his mental trauma suffered during a tour of duty in Afghanistan couldn't be put down to a single event.

The 56-year-old, who has name suppression, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and required treatment after the 2009 deployment when he witnessed a helicopter shot down and all 16 aboard killed, his base was attacked with rockets which caused fatalities and in one strike he was 80m from the impact.

In 2014, the New Zealand Defence Force and Accident Compensation Corporation declined his claim for a work-related injury because it wasn't caused by a single event.

However, in a decision recently made public, District Court Judge Neil Maclean says the 2009 tour of duty amounted to an "event".

The period for ACC to appeal the decision has passed.

The man's lawyer, John Miller, told RNZ the case would serve as a precedent and he was glad the court had decided against a "myopic and narrow point-of-view".

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