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


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Executive Summary (One Minute Read)
Liverpool Catholic Club Ltd v Moor (NSWCA) - negligence - ice-skater injured in fall on stairs while wearing boots - occupier not liable
Riske v Oxley Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd (No 2) (NSWSC) - defamation - further publications pleaded - extension of limitation period
Setka v Abbott (VSCA) - defamation - defences of justification and contextual truth not struck out - appeal dismissed
Great Southern Finance Pty Ltd (in liq) v Rhodes (WASC) - pleadings - directors' duties - statutory business rule - paragraphs of defence struck out - leave to replead
Summaries With Link (Five Minute Read)
Liverpool Catholic Club Ltd v Moor [2014] NSWCA 394
Court of Appeal of New South Wales
Meagher & Emmett JJA; Tobias AJA
Negligence - respondent attended ice rink located in sporting complex occupied by appellant - respondent wearing skating boots hired from occupier - respondent injured when he fell on stairs providing access to rink - primary judge found occupier negligent in failing to take reasonable precautions against risk of injury from slipping or falling when descending wet stairs whilst wearing skates - held: - primary judge erred in not finding that risk of harm was "obvious" within the meaning of s5F Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) - each of the two warnings which primary judge held would have been sufficient to discharge occupier's duty of care were forms of warning of a risk of injury in descending stairs with skating boots on - that risk was an obvious risk within s 5F(1) - effect of s5H(1) was that appellant did not owe duty of care to the respondent to warn of obvious risk - appeal allowed.
Liverpool Catholic Club
Riske v Oxley Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd (No 2) [2014] NSWSC 1611
Supreme Court of New South Wales
McCallum J
Limitation of actions - defamation - plaintiffs commenced action against employer arising out of allegedly defamatory publications - limitation period prescribed in respect of certain further publications expired before pleading was amended - plaintiffs sought extension of that period - amended statement of claim filed 16/4/14 - common ground plaintiffs not aware of new matters complained of until they received defendants' further answers to interrogatories on 14/3/14 - defendants claimed there were periods of inactivity and delay such that plaintiffs had not discharged onus of establishing it was not reasonable for them to sue on the four new causes of action until 16/4/14 - ss14B & 56A Limitation Act 1969 (NSW) - held: plaintiffs acted reasonably at all stages - no prejudice to defendants if limitation period extended - plaintiffs made many requests for information as to any further publications which were ignored - interests of justice plainly required extension - limitation period extended until 16/4/14.
Setka v Abbott [2014] VSCA 287
Court of Appeal of Victoria
Warren CJ; Ashley & Whelan
Defamation - defences - union official sued Tony Abbott, at the material time Leader of Federal Opposition, and Australian News Channel Pty Ltd - action arising from words spoken by Abbott in answer to a question which he was asked at a conference of an employer's organisation - applicant sought leave to appeal from primary judge's refusal to strike out justification defence pleaded in reliance on Hore-Lacy and contextual truth defence pleaded pursuant to s26 Defamation Act 2005 (Vic)- ss6, 8, 24, 25 & 26 - held: leave to appeal granted on certain grounds - legal and factual submission rejected - appeal dismissed.
Great Southern Finance Pty Ltd (in liq) v Rhodes [2014] WASC 431
Supreme Court of Western Australia
Beech J
Pleadings - directors' duties - GSF claimed defendant directors breached their duties in approving certain uncreditworthy loans by GSF - GSF sought to strike out three paragraphs of defence on grounds they were vague, embarrassing, and disclosed no reasonable defence, that they may prejudice, embarrass or delay fair trial, or were otherwise an abuse of process - statutory business judgment rule - ss1317S & 1318 Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) - held: defendant required to identify in his pleading any decision he made in reliance on business judgment rule - greater specificity required in identifying case to ensure fairness to GSF - paragraphs of defence struck out - leave to replead.
Great Southern Finance Pty Ltd