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Proportionate Liability Regime: NSW Supreme Court clarifies how to properly identify potential concurrent wrongdoers

Since the introduction of the proportionate liability regime in the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) over 15 years ago, there has been a series of cases which have contributed to how the regime operates, including in the High Court of Australia decision of Hunt & Hunt Lawyers v Mitchell Nominees[2013] HCA 10.
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Carving through the snow and landing in a lawsuit - NSW Supreme court considers skiing a ‘dangerous recreational activity’

Most of us would be aware of at least one or two celebrities killed or seriously injured in skiing accidents, such as Michael Schumacher and Sonny Bono.   But how dangerous is skiing really? Are these well known cases mere anomalies in an otherwise safe sport?   The Supreme Court recently grappled with a similar question, considering whether skiing is a “dangerous recreational activity” in light of statistical data which, arguably, suggested otherwise.  
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NSW Supreme Court reminds plaintiffs of requirements for claiming directly against liability insurers

In Count Financial Limited v Pillay[2021] NSWSC 99, Stevenson J of the Supreme Court of NSW examined whether leave under the Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017 (theAct) should be granted to a plaintiff seeking to join an accountant’s professional indemnity insurer to proceedings.
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Footy player’s “spear tackle” negligence case gets a red card from the Court of Appeal

2020 has been a year of ”big hits” in the dangerous recreational activity space.   It has also been in a year in which our sportsmen have featured in the evening news, often for their off‑field behaviour.     The recent news that former England Rugby international, 42 year old Steven Thompson, has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, and is involved in a potential class action in relation to the repetitive head trauma he says gave rise to his condition; has sent shock waves through the sporting world.
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“Not without my pick stick” – Picker Packer finds damages are just out of his reach

Most of us go through life thinking very little about pick sticks, but in the case of Smith v Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd, it was the humble pick stick that (almost) picked victory out of the jaws of defeat.
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Releasing the hounds – Defining ‘recreational activity’

Horse racing may be the ‘sport of kings’, but greyhound racing can still hold court.  
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You need to lift big to gain big (damages)

Powell v JFIT Holdings t/as New Dimensions Health and Fitness Centre - [2020] NSWDC 264  
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Win for insurers short-lived: NSW Court of Appeal overturns approach for addressing claims for luxury replacement vehicles

On 27 September 2019, we provided an update on the developments in the law relating to the vehicle hire industry, particularly exorbitant claims by plaintiffs for prestige (or luxury) replacement vehicles following vehicle accidents negligently caused by others.  A very recent NSW Court of Appeal decision has altered this position and we discuss the implications of the decision for the vehicle hire industry and insurers, below.
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Dangerous Recreational Activity

The treacherous path involved abseiling 10m down a sheer rock face and walking barefoot on wet rugged terrain and tidal rocks. While walking across a 30cm rock platform with a 4m drop, Ms Nihil slipped and fell. She was air-lifted to Royal North Shore Hospital having suffered injuries to her toes, feet and heels. After 3 months in a wheelchair, she was fortunately able to ambulate once again but continued to suffer ongoing impairment which she said brought her modelling career to a premature end.
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Higher decisions for hire cars: addressing exorbitant claims for replacement vehicles

On 3 September 2019, Basten J of the NSW Supreme Court delivered appeal Judgments in three cases heard concurrently and (for the time being) confirmed the correct approach for assessing damages in claims for hire vehicle costs following an accident.  
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A fall from a ladder resulted in liability against a manufacturer under the Australian Consumer Law with a finding of 30% contributory negligence

The Court of Appeal found that a ladder had a safety defect, which caused the appellant to fall, such that the manufacturer was liable for damages under section 138 of the Australian Consumer Law.
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Further Thoughts on the District Court’s power to determine “Commercial” Matters

There has been a further Supreme Court decision regarding the legislative anomaly which has created great uncertainty over the power of the District Court to determine “Commercial” matters. 
  • 15 Oct 2018

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Telephone + trolley = trouble; a plaintiff’s contributory negligence assessed at 25% on appeal

On 6 April 2014, Mr Bridge slipped and fell in a below ground carpark at Coles’ Coffs Harbour store.
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Hindsight is not always a wonderful thing

The recent decision by the Court of Appeal in Argo Managing Agency Ltd v Al Kammessy [2018] NSWCA 176 serves as a reminder that the duty of care owed by a contract cleaner in a shopping centre is not an expectation of “perfection”.

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