Third successful permanent stay application run to judgment in Queensland

DJW v State of Queensland [2023] QSC 138 At a glance On 19 October 2023, the Supreme Court of Queensland handed down its decision to permanently stay the proceedings in an historic abuse claim. The claim involved a psychiatric injury that was alleged to have developed due to the sexual and physical abuse of an […]

ABC learns the ABCs of the new public interest defence

Russell v Australian Broadcasting Corporation (No 3) [2023] FCA 1223 At a glance In September 2022, Heston Russell, a former Major and Commando Officer within the Special Operations Command of the ADF initiated proceedings against the ABC and two investigative journalists. In February, the Federal Court found that the publications defamed Mr Russell. Initially, the ABC […]

Long-awaited McDonald’s class action decision is a green light for settlement CFOs

Elliott-Carde v McDonald’s Australia Limited [2023] FCAFC 162 At a glance On 12 October 2023, the Full Federal Court delivered its long-awaited judgment in the McDonald’s breaks class action. The Court unanimously confirmed that it has the power under s 33V(2) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) to make orders for settlement […]

Federal Court makes significant Opal Tower liability policy ruling

WSP Structures Pty Ltd v Liberty Mutual Insurance Company t/as Liberty Specialty Markets [2023] FCA 1157 At a glance On 28 September 2023, the Federal Court of Australia found a liability policy covered a sub-contracting engineer and opened up double insurance claims. The case involved claims against WSP, the structural engineer for Sydney’s Opal Tower […]

Directors’ duties in the face of risk to creditors – Mainzeal concludes

Yan v Mainzeal Property Construction Limited (in liq) [2023] NZSC 113 On 25 August 2023, the Supreme Court handed down its highly anticipated decision in Yan v Mainzeal Property Construction Limited (in liq) [2023] NZSC 113. The Court largely upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision and included the award of damages of $39.8m against the […]

The mystery of the water on the floor: County Court confirms that speculation is not enough

Karlevski v Vicinity Centres PM Pty Ltd & Anor [2023] VCC 482 A recent decision by the County Court of Victoria has reconfirmed that while plaintiffs in personal injury actions can rely on inferential reasoning in the absence of direct evidence to a point, mere conjecture is not sufficient. In this matter, which involves a […]

When it rains it pours – Full Federal Court hands down ‘common sense’ decision

Acciona Infrastructure Australia Pty Ltd v Zurich Australian Insurance Limited [2023] FCAFC 47 On 28 March 2023, the Full Federal Court handed down its judgment on a separate question concerning the operation of an exclusion for damage to contract works caused by rain. The separate question was brought by the Acciona and Ferrovial joint venture […]

Court of Appeal decides on construction contribution claims

Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd v Wellington City Council The Court of Appeal, in Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd v Wellington City Council, has upheld the High Court’s decision and ruled that contribution claims are not subject to the 10-year longstop in the Building Act. As a result, construction professionals, not joined as […]

High Court decision offers insurers utmost good faith relief

Allianz Australia Insurance Limited v Delor Vue Apartments CTS 39788 A recent decision by the High Court provides clarity regarding the scope of an insurer’s duty of utmost good faith. In the Delor Vue judgment, the Court found Allianz had the right to reduce its liability under the insurance contract and that its earlier waiver […]

Vicarious liability for unlawful acts beyond child abuse?

Garrett v Victorian WorkCover Authority [2022] VSC 623 and Schokman v CCIG Investments Pty Ltd [2022] QCA 38 Two recent decisions – with quite different outcomes – suggest the courts are still grappling with the difficult question of in what circumstances an employer should be found vicariously liable for the wrongful acts of an employee. […]