$3.5+ million in damages awarded in child sexual abuse case
In this case, Judge Fagan of the NSW Supreme Court assessed damages for a man who suffered a psychological injury following historic child sexual abuse. As a result of the abuse, the plaintiff suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, medication-related obesity and other related health issues.
The defendant had previously plead guilty to related criminal offences, did not file a defence in the civil proceedings and did not provide any expert evidence. The significant damages assessed at common law of more than $3.5 million represent the upper limit Courts are likely to award.
Insurers and institutional defendants should review this decision as it highlights the importance of providing expert evidence, particularly on issues of economic loss. Greg Carruthers-Smith, Sean O’Connor and Patrick Thompson look at this landmark decision and its implications.
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