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Bass v Visy Paper Pty Ltd

 

[2002] QSC 78

Reported at [2003] 2 Qd R 241

SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND

CIVIL JURISDICTION

de JERSEY CJ

No 11103 of 2000

ANTHONY GEORGE BASS

Plaintiff

and

 

VISY PAPER PTY LTD

Defendant

BRISBANE

DATE 13/03/2002

JUDGMENT

HIS HONOUR: The plaintiff allegedly suffered personal injury when he fell from a ladder while working for the defendant at the defendant's premises. The plaintiff has sued the defendant for damages, and the defendant has joined the third party. The defendant claims against the third party damages for breach of contract in an amount equivalent to the amount of any damages payable by the defendant to the plaintiff.

In the third party statement of claim, the defendant alleges breaches of duties contractually owed by the third party to the defendant in respect of the plaintiff.

The third party represented by Mr Geraghty seeks an order under rule 171(1)(a) that the third party statement of claim be struck out as disclosing no reasonable cause of action. The application focuses attention on section 253(3) of the WorkCover (Queensland) Act 1996 which confirms that (1) of that section:

“Abolishes any entitlement of a person not mentioned in the subsection to seek damages for an injury sustained by a worker.”

Mr Geraghty has submitted that the defendant's claim against the third party is “simply a claim for damages for an injury sustained by a worker” and consequently barred by section 253 warranting its being struck out.

Mr Holyoak, who appears for the defendant, has drawn attention to the orientation of section 253 towards damages claims brought by workers against employers, that view gaining reinforcement from the definition of damages in section 11, a matter to which reference was made in the Court of Appeal in Karanfilov v Inghams Enterprises Pty Ltd (2001) 2 Queensland Reports 273.

The issue is whether the contractually based claim brought by the defendant against the third party seeks “damages for an injury sustained by a worker.” The matter is not directly resolved by authority, but I consider that the defendant's claim against the third party does not bear that characterisation, and I would read those words literally as relating, with the support of section 11, to damages sought against the employer, which these are not.

For those reasons, the application is dismissed.

MR HOLYOAK: I ask for costs, your Honour.

MR GERAGHTY: I can't resist that, your Honour.

HIS HONOUR: No. With costs to be assessed.

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Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Anthony George Bass v Visy Paper Pty Ltd

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Bass v Visy Paper Pty Ltd

  • Reported Citation:

    [2003] 2 Qd R 241

  • MNC:

    [2002] QSC 78

  • Court:

    QSC

  • Judge(s):

    de Jersey CJ

  • Date:

    13 Mar 2002

Litigation History

Event Citation or File Date Notes
Primary Judgment [2003] 2 Qd R 241 13 Mar 2002 -

Appeal Status

No Status