Tragic jetty fall case tests many civil liability issues

Polglase v Coffs Harbour City Council (No 2) [2019] NSWSC 1848 On 19 December 2019, the NSW Supreme Court gave judgment in a complex case involving multiple defendants, which followed a tragic accident involving a young child who fell from a jetty. Wotton + Kearney acted for the State of NSW in its successful defence […]

The critical role of decision makers in adverse action claims

The recent Full Federal Court of Australia decision, Australian Red Cross Society v Queensland Nursing Union of Employees [2019] FCAFC215, serves as a timely reminder of the importance of “decision maker” evidence in adverse actions claims. In this update, Wotton + Kearney’s Chris Mossman and Lisa Schumacher look at employers’ exposures around decision makers and ways […]

NSW Court of Appeal grants permanent stay for institutional defendant

On 9 December 2019, the NSW Court of Appeal granted a permanent stay of proceedings, as sought by an institutional defendant in a matter involving historic child sexual abuse claims. This decision confirms there is scope to obtain a permanent stay where the lack of evidence would unfairly prejudice the defendant. In this article, Meisha […]

More rights against those whose wrongs are not intentional

On 25 October 2019, The Victorian Court of Appeal found a claimant does not need to establish they have a “significant injury” to claim general damages if they allege they are the victim of an “intentional act that was done with intent to cause death or injury or that is sexual assault or other sexual […]

$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 […]

Re-opening application for institutional child sexual abuse case dismissed

The Supreme Court of Queensland has dismissed an application under s48(5A) of the Limitation of Actions Act 1974 (Qld) to set aside a Deed of Settlement regarding institutional child sexual abuse, on the basis that it was not “just and reasonable” to do so. This judgment bodes well for institutions and their insurers facing re-opening […]

NDIS: the most significant social reform since Medicare

As the rollout of the NDIS nears completion, insurers and defendants need to understand their obligations regarding Preliminary Notices and Recovery Notices as non-compliance is a criminal offence. Wotton + Kearney’s Hope Saloustros and Laura Jean consider these implications of the NDIS for insurers – as well as the reporting obligations and the NDIA’s broad […]

GL Update – key trends and emerging risks in general liability insurance

Welcome to Wotton + Kearney’s GL Update – a snapshot of the key trends and emerging risks in general liability insurance in Australia. In this edition we look at the impact of recent significant matters, including the Lacrosse cladding fire litigation conducted by our Melbourne team, the ongoing risk of concussion claims and prison authority […]

#MeToo is not over: sexual harassment claims to stay in the spotlight in 2019

Claims for sexual harassment have risen significantly in Australia during the past year, and they will keep rising. The recommendations from the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces could mean new claim types emerge. A rise in claims, combined with the renewed focus on sexual harassment, will cause businesses to increasingly take out […]

Marsupial Miscalculation – obvious risk and the allocation of resources under the Civil Liability Act

Kempsey Shire Council v Five Star Medical Centre Pty Ltd [2018] NSWCA 308 In February 2014, a landing aircraft collided with a kangaroo at Kempsey Aerodrome and was damaged. The owners of the aircraft Five Star Medical Centre Pty Ltd sued the owner of the airport Kempsey Shire Council in the District Court of NSW. The […]