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


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Executive Summary (One Minute Read)
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v iiNet Ltd (No 1) (FCA) - preliminary discovery - third party access to evidence filed by film copyright owner refused
Fisher v Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd (No 4) (NSWSC) - defamation - special jury verdict - assessment of damages
Rutland v Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd (NSWSC) - motor accidents compensation - psychiatric injury - decision of Medical Review Panel set aside
Summaries With Link (Five Minute Read)
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v iiNet Ltd (No 1) [2014] FCA 1232
Federal Court of Australia
Perram J
Discovery - owner of copyright in film sought preliminary discovery of documents - internet service providers were respondents to application - copyright owner was seeking to show it had identified IP addresses of persons who had been involved in file-sharing of film - copyright owner had filed affidavits and expert report in support of application - material had not been used in open court - third parties sought access to documents on Court file - r7.22 Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) - held: no reason why access should not be granted to unrestricted documents presently on the file - in relation to restricted documents, it was Court’s usual practice to release material which had been used in open court - notions of justice did not require release of material in relation to evidence which had not been utilised at time of third party application - applications for access to evidence refused, except in relation to material used in Court.
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC
Fisher v Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd (No 4) [2014] NSWSC 1616
Supreme Court of New South Wales
Rothman J
Defamation - damages - plaintiff sued defendants for damages arising from broadcast of segment on television program which accused him of misconduct as a driver of a bus carrying school children - jury returned special verdict that two imputations proved true and five further imputations not proved true - jury determined untrue imputations had effect of defaming plaintiff, despite damage to reputation arising from truth of the two other imputations - assessment of damages in conformity with jury verdict - held: evidence demonstrated broadcast could be considered to have been published to world at large, and plaintiff was entitled to be compensated for that - damages sufficient to compensate fully without need for aggravated damages.
Rutland v Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd [2014] NSWSC 1583
Supreme Court of New South Wales
Garling J
Motor accidents compensation - plaintiff’s younger sister killed in motorcycle accident - plaintiff sued insurer for psychiatric injury and nervous shock - plaintiff challenged decision of Medical Review Panel to set aside medical Assessor’s certificate and certify that plaintiff’s whole person impairment was not greater than 10% - held: Review Panel failed to discharge its statutory function pursuant to s63 Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW) because it failed to assess all matters afresh in respect of the plaintiff's whole person impairment - Review Panel failed to cause enquiries to be made of claimant as to what her job duties actually involved - Review Panel failed to accord procedural fairness to claimant - certificate of Review Panel set aside.