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NSW Court of Appeal requires actual subjective intent to cause injury to exclude operation of the CLA

On 18 November 2020, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Dickson v Northern Lakes Rugby League Sport & Recreation Club Inc [2020] NSWCA 294. Wotton + Kearney acted for the Northern Lakes Rugby League Sport & Recreation Club Inc and Brendan Fletcher in their successful defence of the appeal proceedings.

The decision provides direction for the first time on how s.3B(1)(a) of the CLA is to be applied and confirms that actual subjective intention to injure is required to succeed.

In this article, Charles Simon and Claire Tingey explain the implications of this decision for insurers providing cover to sporting and recreational clubs, and other instrumentalities/authorities subjected to intentional tort claims. Attempts to circumvent the statutory defences under the CLA, by arguing that there was an intent to cause injury, are unlikely to succeed unless there is actual subjective intent on the part of the defendant.

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© Wotton + Kearney 2020
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