Case Law

Case Summarises provided by A R Conolly & Company Lawyers in their daily newsletter Benchmark.

As new technologies emerge and work practices evolve, new situations arise and responsibilities shift, with these changes affecting how policies are interpreted and respond. Court cases illustrate these changing conditions, and provide valuable information as to how and why a determination was made. Cases occur every day, with the outcomes underpinning many current trends while throwing others to the wind. To keep abreast of these changes and for interesting reading, visit our Case Law facility regularly to search the library or view the latest cases.

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Top 5 latest case law

TitleCaseHighlightHearing Date
Wilmar Sugar Pty Ltd v Blackwood [2018] QCA 138 Court of Appeal of QueenslandAdministrative law - appellant owned operated sugar mill - employee died when he was crushed in collision with cane bin - appellant offered a written undertaking pursuant to s216 Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) in respect of alleged contravention of the Act - panel appointed to assist Regulator recommended undertaking's acceptance - Regulator did not accept undertaking - primary judge dismissed appellant's application for judicial review - whether primary judge erroneously failed to find respondent had not taken appellant's “past performance” into account - whether respondent exercised decision-making power ‘so unreasonably that no reasonable person could have exercised it in that way' - whether failure by Regulator to give adequate reasons - held: appeal dismissed.30/07/2018
Wharekawa v AEA Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 1023 Supreme Court of New South WalesCosts - plaintiff succeeded in personal injury claim - plaintiff sought payment of costs on indemnity basis - offer of compromise - Calderbank offer - whether damages awarded to plaintiff exceeded amounts in offers - whether change in plaintiff’s case after receipt of offer - r42.14 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) - held: Court satisfied to grant plaintiff costs on indemnity basis, with exclusion of costs of interlocutory hearings arising from plaintiff’s failure to serve medical reports ’in a timely fashion’ - orders made.30/07/2018
WFI Insurance Ltd v Mantowoq Platinum Pty Ltd [2018] WASCA 89 Court of Appeal of Western AustraliaInsurance - first respondent and second respondent conducted business from premises - premises had been fitted out by company under contract with them - respondents sued company in relation to water damage at premises - company had insurance policy with appellant - company claimed indemnity from appellant - company went into liquidation and was deregistered - respondents sued insurer under s601AG Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) - appellant denied it was obliged to indemnify company because company had breached condition of policy that it 'comply with legislation and Australian Standards' (relevant term), and that breach of relevant term was ‘causally connected' with company's liability to respondent - trial judge found in favour of respondents - construction of policy - held: company had breached relevant term - insurer was entitled to refuse to indemnity company due to breach - appeal allowed.30/07/2018
Wang v MTC Australia Ltd [2018] FCA 1037 Federal Court of AustraliaIndustrial law - appellant was employed by respondent - appellant contended she was unlawfully dismissed due to her ‘exercise of a workplace right' to complain about ‘bullying and harassment' - Federal Circuit Court judge dismissed proceeding - appellant appealed, contending primary judge erred in finding dismissal was due to performance, not to making a complaint - appellant also contended judge ‘exhibited bias' against her during hearing - whether error in relation to finding that respondent had discharged onus of proof - whether error in application of reverse onus - adverse action - whether reasonable apprehension of bias - held: appeal dismissed.30/07/2018
Stepien v Department of Human Services [2018] FCA 1062 Federal Court of AustraliaJudgments and orders - extension of time - sex discrimination - applicant contended Child Support Agency, by decisions and conduct, had ‘treated him less favourably because he was a man' in breach of Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) - applicant's complaint also extended to Centrelink to extent that Child Support Agency had relied on Centrelink's records in relation to its decisions - applicant sought extension of time to file proceeding pursuant to s46PO(2) Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth) against Child Support Agency and Centrelink - whether adequate explanation for delay - whether allegations had reasonable prospects of success - held: Court not satisfied to grant extension of time - application dismissed.30/07/2018