Construction Law Review

Construction Law Review – September

See below our Construction Law Review selected from AR Conolly’s Daily Bulletins covering Insurance, Banking, Construction & Government.

Coles v Dormer [2015] QSC 224
Supreme Court of Queensland
Henry J

Copyright infringement – conversion – remedies – plaintiff alleged defendants converted house plans in which he held copyright by assignment from building designer to their own use and infringed copyright by reproducing or substantially reproducing plans and constructing house substantially based on those plans – ss14, 21, 31, 32, 35, 36, 78, 115, 116 & 196 Copyright Act 1968(Cth) – whether building designer was owner of copyright – effectiveness of purported assignment – whether infringement of copyright or conversion – held: infringement of copyright and conversion established – plaintiff entitled to injunction though not in form contemplated when proceedings began – judgment for plaintiff.


Sutherland Shire Council v Major [2015] NSWCA 243
Court of Appeal of New South Wales
McColl, Emmett & Sackville JJA

Damages – respondent injured when railing on which he was sitting gave way – respondent sued Council in negligence for not maintaining the railing – Council ultimately conceded liability – primary judge assessed damages at $278,392 – Council appealed against assessment of damages – ss3, 13, 16, 17A Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) – held: primary judge erred in assessment of damages for non-economic loss, future economic loss and future paid care – appeal allowed – verdict and judgment for the plaintiff in the sum of $136,419.

Johnston v Endeavour Energy [2015] NSWSC 1117
Supreme Court of New South Wales
Garling J

Representative proceedings – insurance – opt out notices – plaintiff commenced representative proceedings against defendant alleging it was negligent and liable for loss and damage arising from bushfire (Johnston proceedings) – second representative action commenced (Insurers proceedings) – validity of opt out notices – whether insurers entitled to remove all of their insureds from participating as group members in Johnston proceedings and then to include insureds as group members in Insurers proceedings without limitation as to sums sought for damages at date of execution and filing of insurer opt out notices and date of commencement of Insurers proceedings – held: for insureds under ‘Group 1’ policies, Insurers not entitled to remove those insureds as group members of Johnston proceedings – lawyers did not have authority to execute and file insurer opt out notices – those notices invalid and of no effect to opt out insureds from Johnston proceedings – Insurers not entitled to include in Insurers proceedings any claim over and above money paid to insureds under Group 1 policies – proceedings stood over for final orders.