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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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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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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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When is enough enough? - anaesthetist's appeal fails

In our blog on 19 May 2018 we reported on a decision in which an orthopaedic surgeon and anaesthetist were both found negligent for failing to abandon surgery prior to the plaintiff suffering paraplegia.  
  • 5 Mar 2018

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Is your expert actually an expert?

In a recent WA case the plaintiff alleged that the Hospital breached its duty of care to her by failing to recognise that she was suffering from evolving and detectable sepsis, and to commence antibiotic treatment in a timely manner. The Court was only asked to make a finding as to liability.
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Medical manslaughter - The Australian Experience

Medical manslaughter has come into the spotlight in the last week following the recent decision in England to deregister a medical practitioner after she was found guilty of manslaughter in 2015.
  • 5 Feb 2018

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Timely mental health assessments and flight risks

A recent decision in the Supreme Court of ACT considered whether the Hospital was negligent in failing to ensure that the appropriate procedures were put in place to prevent a patient from self-harm.
  • 6 Nov 2017

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Road collapse – Council not liable despite roadworks

In Mansfield v Great Lakes Council (2016) NSWCA 204 (‘Mansfield’s case’) the plaintiff was driving a truck along a single lane country road when, as he drove across a culvert, the bank of the left side of the road gave way and the truck rolled over. 
  • 24 Oct 2016

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Prove it or lose it

In this recent NSW Court of Appeal decision, an employer escaped liability for an injury allegedly suffered by a worker in the course of his employment as a trade’s assistant. The worker allegedly suffered a severe aggravation of a pre-existing injury when, while holding a beam that was being cut, the beam fell unexpectedly towards him.
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“The customer is always right?”

Ms Young successfully sued Aldi in the District Court of NSW following an incident at an Aldi supermarket. Ms Young injured her knees and lower back after stumbling over the prongs of a pallet jack full of strawberries which was being unpacked by an Aldi employee. Aldi unsuccessfully argued that its employee made Ms Young aware of the pallet jack and therefore the pallet jack was an obvious risk. A finding of 10% contributory negligence was made. Aldi appealed.
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