Search terms: Litigation, Australia
The High Court recently considered how loss should be measured in a real estate transaction where there has been a breach of contract, an act of negligence and misleading or deceptive conduct. The principles involved can be applied more broadly to other situations where the loss occurred in a falling market.
On June 15 2004 the High Court considered the situation of an injured worker who was a director and solely responsible for the day-to-day operations of his own company, which was jointly liable for his injuries. The High Court confirmed that the claim for contribution was not barred by the injured person's dual responsibilities as a director and employee of the company.
A High Court decision holding that an engineer involved in the construction of a commercial building did not owe a duty to the purchaser of that building to take reasonable care to avoid pure economic loss, implies that contract rather than tort law will be the primary determinant in future building claims.
The Federal Court recently held a pacemaker manufacturer liable in damages for a device which was subject to a higher-than-expected risk of premature failure, despite the fact that the pacemaker did not fail and continued to function normally after removal. The decision raises important issues for manufacturers or suppliers issuing hazard alerts or recalls for products with a risk of defect.
The Civil Liability Amendment (Personal Responsibility) Act was recently passed by the New South Wales Parliament in response to Australia's public liability crisis. Among its significant reforms, the new act limits or excludes liability in specific circumstances, limits the liability of public authorities, and introduces proportionate liability for economic loss and property damage.
In a recent case before the West Australia Court of Appeal a statutory demand was set aside for non-compliance with the law. Among other things, this was due to a significant error in calculation of the invoices, a credit figure which was not properly itemized and several defects in the affadavit signed in support of the demand.