Daily Construction: Thursday, 30 April 2015 View in browser

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

Daily Construction

Executive Summary (One Minute Read)
NBN Co Ltd v Pipe Networks Pty Ltd (NSWSC) - statutory interpretation - owner/operator of telecommunications network authorised to plug equipment into power socket of premises and draw power without consent of owner/occupier
Victorian Workcover Authority v Stoddart (Vic) Pty Ltd (VSC) - accident compensation - third party breached statutory duty of care and common law duty of care to injured worker - Authority entitled to indemnity
Summaries With Link (Five Minute Read)
NBN Co Ltd v Pipe Networks Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 475
Supreme Court of New South Wales
Kunc J           
Statutory interpretation - plaintiff responsible for rolling out national broadband network throughout Australia - defendant owned and operates optical fibre telecommunications network - plaintiff sought declaration that Sch 3 Telecommunications Act 1997 did not empower defendant, or its employees and contractors, to connect in-building subscriber connection equipment to power socket of owner or occupier of multi-dwelling unit and draw power from power supply of owner or occupier at socket on ongoing basis - held: on proper construction Sch 3 authorised defendant, its employees and contractors to install telecommunications equipment including by plugging it into power socket and drawing power from premises’ power supply without consent of owner or occupier - plaintiff not entitled to declaration.
Victorian Workcover Authority v Stoddart (Vic) Pty Ltd [2015] VSC 149
Supreme Court of Victoria
J Forrest J
Accident compensation - worker injured when he fell from roof of house under construction - worker settled his claim against employer and roofing company - determination of recovery claim under s138 Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) by Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) against roofing company - VWA held roofing company partly responsible for injuries and payment of compensation - VWA conceded employer must also carry share of responsibility for injuries - whether roofing company owed duty of care to worker and if so, whether it breached duty - percentage responsibility which roofing company should bear as required by s138 if it breached duty - ss49 & 51 Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) - held: roofing company owed statutory duty of care to worker arising under Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Vic) - roofing company also owed common law duty of care to worker - roofing company breached both statutory duty of care and common law duty of care - VWA entitled to be indemnified by roofing company in relation to payments of compensation by it for worker’s injuries - Factor X of formula prescribed by s138 was 50 per cent.

NB: the above summary, which originally appeared in Benchmark issue dated 28 April 2015, has been updated to include a reference to the defendant’s breach of a statutory duty of care. We apologise for the omission.