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 Current State Of Personal Injury Litigation – Western Australia

Wotton + Kearney is pleased to release the first of our series of guides aimed at helping insurers, brokers and their respective clients to understand the varying regimes and trends in personal injury litigation across Australia – starting with Western Australia. The Current State of Personal Injury Litigation in WA is set against the backdrop of the […]

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 […]

NSW Court of Appeal stays proceedings in historic child sexual abuse claim

The NSW Court of Appeal has ruled that there is scope for defendants, in the context of historic child sexual abuse claims, to apply to permanently stay proceedings on the basis of inability to obtain a fair trial, even though such claims are no longer statute barred under the Limitation Act 1969 (NSW). The circumstances […]

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 […]

Bushfire class action summarily dismissed by Victorian Court

The Victorian Supreme Court recently summarily dismissed the lead Plaintiffs’ claims in Block v Powercor, a bushfire class action issued against a Victorian electricity distributor. The decision is noteworthy as summary dismissals are rare, particularly in class actions and representative proceedings. While the decision largely turned on its facts, it reinforces the principle explained by the High […]

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 […]

Is it reasonable to do nothing in response to a foreseeable risk?

Last week the ACT Court of Appeal found in favour of an occupier of a car park in a negligence case: Jennings v George Harcourt Management Pty Ltd [2018] ACTCA 50. The decision is a reminder that the issues of ‘foreseeable risk’ and ‘reasonable response’ must not be conflated when considering whether a party has […]

A win for the cleaners – practice doesn’t require perfection

Last week the NSW Court of Appeal found in favour of a cleaning contractor in Argo Managing Agency Pty Ltd v Al Kammessy [2018] NSWCA 176. The Court reiterated that the duty of care owed by a cleaner is to exercise reasonable care to identify and remove potential hazards, not to guarantee that all hazards […]