Baker v Department of Corrections [2017] NZDC 7224

Published 08 August 2017

Assault in prison — negligence — Accident Compensation Act 2001, ss 121 and 317. The appellant was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Whilst in custody the appellant suffered injuries and an assault after taking another prisoner hostage. The plaintiff was late to file his claim in relation to the incident which occurred in 2009, and the court found that the claim was statute barred as the proceeding commenced more than six years after the incident, and the defendant's permission was not sought to bring the claim and that it may be barred as an abuse of process. The court did not determine the outcome of the proceedings in relation to the statutory bar however, as the court also found that the claims raised by the prisoner were barred by sections 317 and section 121 of the of the Accident Compensation Act as the plaintiff was a prisoner at the time he was injured and that the injury was a personal injury which would ordinarily be covered by ACC. The court was not required to consider whether Corrections had breached the plaintiff's rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and the Corrections Act as the application was struck out by the court. Judgment Date: 7 April 2017