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$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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© Wotton + Kearney 2019
This publication is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this publication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.