Relief for builders and their insurers! Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 61288Author : Sean O'Connor - Partner, Mark Hughes - Special CounselConstruction and Contract Works
In a decision that will no doubt be greeted with relief by builders and their insurers, on 8 October 2014 the High Court of Australia delivered its much awaited decision in Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan No 61288  HCA 36.
The High Court has determined that there is no common law duty of care owed by a builder to the ultimate holder of common property in strata complexes or to subsequent owners of units to take steps to prevent pure economic loss that might arise from having to repair latent defects. While there were differences between the reasons published by members of the Court, of primary importance was the extent to which the detailed terms of the building contract between Brookfield Multiplex and the original developer allocated and limited risks between them which in turn affected the potential for a duty of care to arise in favour of the developer and successors in title.
This is an important decision for those in the construction industry and those that have an interest in it. Sean O’Connor and Mark Hughes comment on the decision and its implications in this Case Note .08/10/2014