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Sopronyi v Prestige Auto Repairs Pty Ltd[2015] QCATA 153

Sopronyi v Prestige Auto Repairs Pty Ltd[2015] QCATA 153


Sopronyi v Prestige Auto Repairs Pty Ltd [2015] QCATA 153


George Sopronyi



Prestige Auto Repairs Pty Ltd







On the papers




Senior Member Stilgoe OAM


2 October 2015




  1. Leave to appeal refused.


APPEAL – LEAVE TO APPEAL – MINOR CIVIL DISPUTE – where work done on car – where owner alleged work not necessary and called for refund – where tribunal dismissed claim – whether grounds for leave to appeal

Dearman v Dearman (1908) 7 CLR 549

Fox v Percy (2003) 214 CLR 118

Pickering v McArthur [2005] QCA 294

Chambers v Jobling (1986) 7 NSWLR 1


This matter was heard and determined on the papers pursuant to s 32 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) (QCAT Act).


  1. [1]
    George Sopronyi’s Mercedes Benz overheated when he was driving his daughter to school. He sought advice from the local auto parts retailer, which referred him to Prestige Auto Repairs Pty Ltd.
  2. [2]
    Prestige replaced the cylinder head gaskets, did some other work related to that work, and charged Mr Sopronyi $3,373.45. Mr Sopronyi had further work done on his car, by another mechanic. He formed the view that the work done by Prestige was unnecessary, so he filed a claim in the tribunal for a refund of his payment to Prestige. The tribunal dismissed Mr Sopronyi’s claim.
  3. [3]
    Mr Sopronyi wants to appeal that decision. Because this is an appeal from a decision of the tribunal in its minor civil disputes jurisdiction, leave is necessary.[1] Leave to appeal will usually be granted where there is a reasonable argument that the decision is attended by error, and an appeal is necessary to correct a substantial injustice to the applicant caused by that error.[2]
  4. [4]
    Unfortunately, Mr Sopronyi does not provide any grounds for his application for leave to appeal. He annexed a copy of a letter from the Office of Fair Trading with a note “to go with the case”. The letter from the Office of Fair Trading was part of the material considered by the learned Adjudicator. It does not assist, or advance, Mr Sopronyi’s case.
  5. [5]
    As is usual, the appeals tribunal issued directions inviting Mr Sopronyi to file submissions in support of his application for leave to appeal. Mr Sopronyi wrote to advise that he did not intend to file any further material. I will assume, therefore, that Mr Sopronyi’s grounds of appeal are that the evidence does not support the tribunal’s findings.
  1. [6]
    The appeal tribunal will not usually disturb findings of fact on appeal if the evidence is capable of supporting the conclusions.[3] An appellate tribunal may interfere if the conclusion is ‘contrary to compelling inferences’ in the case.[4]
  1. [7]
    I have looked at the evidence. Prestige did the work the subject of the invoice. There are two invoices from other mechanics. One invoice, from Dave Walton, predates the invoice from Prestige. The other invoice simply records that a TK test was negative and the engine appears to be in good order. There is no evidence to explain how this invoice might demonstrate that Prestige’s work was not necessary. Mr Sopronyi did not call any independent evidence to support his claim. The evidence before the tribunal can support its findings. There is nothing in the transcript to persuade me that the tribunal should have taken a different view of the facts.
  1. [8]
    There is no reasonably arguable case that the tribunal was in error. Leave to appeal should be refused.


[1]   QCAT Act s 142(3)(a)(i).

[2] Pickering v McArthur [2005] QCA 294 at [3].

[3] Dearman v Dearman (1908) 7 CLR 549 at 561; Fox v Percy (2003) 214 CLR 118 at 125-126.

[4] Chambers v Jobling (1986) 7 NSWLR 1 at 10.


Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Sopronyi v Prestige Auto Repairs Pty Ltd

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Sopronyi v Prestige Auto Repairs Pty Ltd

  • MNC:

    [2015] QCATA 153

  • Court:


  • Judge(s):

    Senior Member Stilgoe OAM

  • Date:

    02 Oct 2015

Appeal Status

Please note, appeal data is presently unavailable for this judgment. This judgment may have been the subject of an appeal.

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