High Court to hear first proportionate liability appeal

Insurance eBulletin - 14 September 2012

The High Court will grapple with the intricacies of proportionate liability as early as November this year having recently granted Special Leave to appeal the decision of Mitchell Morgan Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Vella, reported on in our January 2012 Proportionate Liability Update. 

The Court will consider who is a concurrent wrongdoer for the purposes of the proportionate liability regime, in particular, who, besides the defendant in an apportionable claim, can be said to have caused 'the damage or loss that is the subject of the claim'. 

These words have been narrowly defined in Mitchell Morgan and related cases such as St George Bank Ltd v Quinerts Pty Ltd, with the result that professionals sued by lenders were not able to apportion some of the lenders' claims to the borrowers, guarantors or even fraudsters who procured the loans in the first place. 

This appeal has the potential to dramatically affect the application of proportionate liability legislation throughout Australia and we will be monitoring the outcome with great interest.

Links 

Hunt & Hunt v Mitchell Morgan 

January 2012 Proportionate Liability Update

Further information

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