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Sterrenberg v ThankU13 Pty Ltd t/a United Petroleum Pty Ltd[2021] QDC 71

Sterrenberg v ThankU13 Pty Ltd t/a United Petroleum Pty Ltd[2021] QDC 71

DISTRICT COURT OF QUEENSLAND

CITATION:

Sterrenberg v ThankU13 Pty Ltd t/a United Petroleum Pty Ltd [2021] QDC 71

PARTIES:

WILLEM STERRENBERG

(applicant)

v

THANKU13 PTY LTD T/A UNITED PETROLEUM PTY LTD ABN 40 169 469 489

(respondent)

FILE NO/S:

227/19

DIVISION:

Civil

PROCEEDING:

Application in pending proceedings

DELIVERED EX

TEMPORE ON:

16 April 2021

DELIVERED AT:

Maroochydore

JUDGE:

Cash QC DCJ

ORDERS:

  1. An order will be made in terms of the draft order initialled and placed with the papers.

CATCHWORDS:

ORDER SANCTIONING COMPROMISE – PROCEDURE – CIVIL LAW – APPLICATION – Where a claim for personal injuries has been mediated and settled – where a legal disability exists – where application brought to sanction claim – whether settlement is just and reasonable.

LEGISLATION:

Public Trustee Act 1978 (Qld), s 59.

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld), r 98.

CASES:

Fowler v Gray [1982] Qd R 334.

COUNSEL:

M O’Sullivan for the applicant

SOLICITORS:

Shine Lawyers for the applicant

Colin Biggers and Paisley for the respondent

  1. [1]
    HIS HONOUR: This is an application brought by the applicant as plaintiff in a claim for personal injuries. The applicant is under a legal disability, and his son has consented to act as his litigation guardian. As a consequence of a mediation conducted late last year, the applicant’s claim has been compromised and he applies now for the sanction of the Court pursuant to section 59 of the Public Trustee Act 1978 (Qld). Such sanction is necessary because the applicant is under a legal disability. In exercising the power under section 59 this Court is protecting the interests of the applicant. I am, in this application, concerned with whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the proposed settlement is reasonable and for the benefit of the applicant.  If I reach that conclusion it would be appropriate to sanction the settlement.[1]
  1. [2]
    The applicant’s claim is for personal injuries, consequential loss and damage as a result of a fall at a fuel station operated by the defendant around 29 March 2019. After filling up his car, as well as a fuel can, the applicant slipped and fell as he stepped down from a raised concrete platform. He claims he slipped on a substance left on the step. The applicant suffered injuries including a fracture to his left hip, injury to his left wrist and injury to soft tissue in his left shoulder. His injuries were such that the applicant was taken from the fuel station by ambulance and admitted to the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital for surgery.
  1. [3]
    Late last year, the parties engaged in mediation and a settlement was reached. The terms, generally, are such that the plaintiff’s claim has been compromised in the sum of $225,000 encompassing all of his claim for damages, interest and including statutory refunds. The defendant has also agreed to pay the plaintiff a fixed amount for the management fees of an appointed administrator who is to receive and manage the applicant’s damages. As well, the respondent will pay the applicant’s costs of the entire proceedings to be agreed, or failing agreement, to be assessed on the standard basis.
  1. [4]
    The applicant is 77 years old. He has an impairment of memory and declining high executive function which impairs his capacity to give legal instructions regarding financial matters. His son, Mr Lucas Sterrenberg, has consented to act as his litigation guardian in March of this year and has also given instructions in favour of the proposed compromise.
  1. [5]
    The Court has written advice from Mr O’Sullivan of counsel regarding the suitability of the settlement. It is unnecessary to go in detail to this opinion. It is sufficient for me to observe that the proposed settlement is close to a broad range of possible outcomes assessed as being likely by Mr O’Sullivan. The balance of the materials referred to in the application deal with the necessary matters pursuant to either section 59 of the Public Trustee Act, rule 98 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld) or Practice Direction 6 of 2018.
  1. [6]
    Having considered this material, I am satisfied that the proposed settlement is reasonable, and for the benefit of the applicant. For these reasons I will make an order in terms of the draft that I have initialled and will place with the papers.

Footnotes

[1]Fowler v Gray [1982] Qd R 334 at 349.

Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Sterrenberg v ThankU13 Pty Ltd t/a United Petroleum Pty Ltd

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Sterrenberg v ThankU13 Pty Ltd t/a United Petroleum Pty Ltd

  • MNC:

    [2021] QDC 71

  • Court:

    QDC

  • Judge(s):

    Cash QC DCJ

  • Date:

    16 Apr 2021

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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