A daily Bulletin listing our choice of Decisions of Superior Courts of Australia.


Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Executive Summary (One Minute Read)
Coote v S & P Jackson Pty Ltd (NSWCA) - negligence - worker injured when workbox in which he was standing fell from crane - provider of equipment not liable
Zepinic v Chateau Constructions (Aust) Ltd (No 4) (NSWCA) - costs - specified gross sum of costs - indemnity costs
Davies v Nilsen & TAC (VSCA) - accident compensation - serious injury - erroneous approach to evidence - appeal allowed
Slade v John Patrick Pty Ltd (VSC) - accident compensation - unexplained contradiction in medical panel's reasoning - opinion quashed
Summaries With Link (Five Minute Read)
Coote v S & P Jackson Pty Ltd [2014] NSWCA 385
Court of Appeal of New South Wales
Macfarlan, Barrett & Leeming JJA
Negligence - appellant worker employed by Boral as plant operator at asphalt batching plant - Boral contracted with respondent to provide crane and related equipment - worker injured when workbox in which he was standing fell to ground while suspended from crane - appellant sued respondent in negligence - primary judge concluded respondent not liable - held: evidence did not establish that any step a reasonable person in respondent's position would have taken would have avoided accident - causative negligence not proved - challenge to rejection of application to amend particulars of negligence failed - appeal dismissed.
Zepinic v Chateau Constructions (Aust) Ltd (No 4) [2014] NSWCA 383
Court of Appeal of New South Wales
Emmett JA
Costs - Court ordered that appellants pay respondent's costs of separate proceedings - respondent sought order for specified gross sum costs order - respondent also sought indemnity costs on basis of offers of compromise in Court of Appeal proceedings - held: lump sum costs assessment granted - very little element of compromise in offer in respect of 2013 Court of Appeal proceedings - however regime in r42.15A Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) should be exercised in respect of offer of compromise in 2014 proceedings.
Davies v Nilsen & TAC [2014] VSCA 278
Court of Appeal of Victoria
Warren CJ; Ashley & Whelan JJ
Accident compensation - applicant driver injured in transport accident sought leave pursuant to s93(4)(d) Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic) to bring proceeding in respect of injuries - primary judge dismissed serious injury application because he was not satisfied applicant had established that any of the injuries relied upon had been caused by the transport accident - applicant challenged primary judge's findings on causation - whole of evidence approach - held: no merit in applicant's complaint that primary judge's reasons failed the path of reasoning test - primary judge gave insufficient weight to material that needed to be considered to resolve causation issue - primary judge's approach to evidence led him into error with respect to connection between transport accident and injury - appeal allowed.
Slade v John Patrick Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 563
Supreme Court of Victoria
Rush J
Judicial review - plaintiff suffered injuries to respiratory system during course of work when she attended site meeting and inhaled toxic fumes - plaintiff sought to recover compensation for her injuries from employer pursuant to Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) - plaintiff sought review of decision of medical panel that she had 14% whole person impairment and had not suffered a total loss injury pursuant to s98E(1) - held: there was an unexplained contradiction in panel's reasoning that was fundamental to issue panel requested to determine - the panel had not explained its 'actual path of reasoning' in a manner that enabled an understanding of its contradictory findings - opinion quashed - medical questions remitted to a medical panel differently constituted.