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Injury in New Zealand

January 18, 1987

On a recent trip I fell in the bathroom of my room in a Queenstown, New Zealand, hotel. A smooth, soap-like compound was on the floor, not cleaned up, and this caused my fall. I fractured my collarbone in several places. I went to see a solicitor (attorney) to collect medical expenses.

I was told that there is no such thing as negligence there as far as the courts are concerned. What they have is a workmen's compensation plan run by the government that will consider if a claim caused permanent injury, this being decided after a year, and medical costs would be evaluated on what they would cost there, where such costs are minimal due to a government plan. Most of my medical expense has been incurred in the United States since returning.

New Zealand, as you know, is a beautiful country, especially South Island, and I don't mean to deter anyone from going there--just be aware of a policy that is opposite of ours.

Thank you for the many years of pleasure and information I have received from reading Jerry Hulse's Travel Tips column.

KAREN NATHAN

Los Angeles

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