Geoffrey Hancy - Barrister

Cases // Injury Compensation

Geoff acquired a solid grounding in damages law when he studied under Prof Harold Luntz at the University of Melbourne in 1983.  Since then he has been trial lawyer, and appeal lawyer, in many and varied personal injury cases.  In this component of his practice he now mainly acts in catastrophic serious or more unusual injury cases and appeals. They include paraplegia and brain damage, including alleged birth injuries, and asbestos diseases and mesothelioma.  He was legal adviser to the Western Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Kimberley Ultramarathon fire.

2020
[2020] WASCA 164
Gors v Tomlinson

Liability of farmers as occupiers of farmhouse. Appellant injured when fell through laserlite roof.  Serious brain injury.  Duty to warn only duty relied on by appellant. Whether duty to warn.  Whether obvious risk. On appeal client was successful.  Appeal dismissed

2019
[2019] WASCA 173
J-Corp Pty Ltd v Thompson

Liability of builder. Roof carpenter injured when standing on brick pier that collapsed. Negligence. Occupier’s liability. At trial client was not successful. On appeal client was successful on both appeal grounds (hindsight reasoning of trial judge) but respondent succeeded on notice of contention.

[2019] WASCA 121
BGC Australia) Pty Ltd v Machali

Workers’ compensation.  Whether weekly payments of compensation following “step down” after week 13 include overtime. Whether “overtime” paid on a regular basis is an “allowance” and within “Amount Aa” for the purposes of calculating “weekly earnings”. On appeal client was not successful

[2019] WADC 115
Trac v Fero Reinforcing

Trial of preliminary issues. Effect on worker’s election to retain the right to damages where assessment of worker’s degree of impairment was not carried out in accordance with s93N of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981. At trial client was not successful

[2019] WADC 88
Gors by his Plenary Administrator of Janet Christine Gors v Tomlinson

Liability of farmers as occupiers of farmhouse. Plaintiff injured when fell through laserlite roof.  Serious brain injury.  Duty to warn only duty relied on by plaintiff. Whether duty to warn.  Whether obvious risk. At trial client was successful.

[2019] WASCA 17
Osborne Park Commercial Pty Ltd v Miloradovic

Liability of owner of warehouse to customer using accessway not occupied by owner.  Customer injured by reversing truck combination driven recklessly by unrelated third party. No established category duty of care.  Whether duty of care owed by store owner to customer collecting goods. Reasonable foreseeability. Breach of duty. Causation.  On appeal client was not successful

2018
[2018] WADC 164
Thompson v J-Corp Pty Ltd

Liability of builder. Roof carpenter injured when standing on brick pier that collapsed. Negligence. Occupier’s liability. At trial client was not successful.

2017
[2017] WADC 129
Miloradovic v Osborne Park Commercial

At trial client was not successful.  Claim for contribution by tortfeasor who reversed truck and trailer combination into customer of warehouse owner.  Apportionment of liability.  Warehouse owner ordered to pay contribution despite telling customer to go to a warehouse bay

[2017] WASCA 110
Christos v Curtin University

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  University client. Personal injury. Employment. University lecturer. Psychiatric illness.  Depressive disorder. Alleged negligence by university staff by “bullying, harassment and victimisation”.  Unsuccessful claim for damages.  Appeal dismissed

2016
[2016] WASCA 143
WFI Insurance Ltd v Verini

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  Owner builder client. House contents insurance. Liability of owner builder. Residential house balcony collapse. Breach of duty admitted. Exclusion for breach of duty as owner held inapplicable. Duty as builder. Insurer’s appeal dismissed

[2016] WASCA 90
Kelly v Bluestone Global Ltd (In liq)

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  Labour hire company client. Work accident.  Loader and truck at mine site. No breach of duty. Res ipsa loquitur. Whether control of employee and vicarious liability transferred from employer to third party. Future economic loss

[2015] WASC 258
Austin v Verini

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  Owner builder client. House contents insurance. Owner builder in claim against insurer. Liability of owner builder. In 1993 defendant owner builder constructed home with external balcony. Balcony collapsed in 2009 and plaintiffs were injured.  Exclusion in insurance policy for liability arising out of breach of duty as owner. Liability held to arise from activity of building house and not as owner. Third party insurer, WFI Insurance, liable to indemnify insured

[2015] WASC 72
Christos v Curtin University of Technology [No 2]

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  University client.  Psychiatric illness.  Lecturer at university suffering from major depressive disorder.  Dismissed from permanent tenured employment.  Alleged bullying harassment and victimisation by numerous staff.  Claims for damages in contract and negligence dismissed

[2014] WASCA 162
Acebrook Corporation Pty Ltd v McEwan

On appeal client was successful. At first instance client was not successful.  Farm company client. Workers’ Compensation. Application for review of decision of Director of WorkCover by writ of certiorari. Refusal to extend ‘termination day’.  Worker not able to claim damages.  Calculation of ‘last day of the period of one year after’ the termination day. Appeal allowed and worker’s application dismissed

[2014] WASCA 89
Austin v The Electricity Networks Corporation

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  Electricity supplier client. Public liability. Trespasser in transformer compound at disused quarry. High voltage electricity.  Electric shock from 22kV (22,000 volt) power lines to transformer. Loss of both legs. Plaintiff/Appellant engaged in criminal conduct. Defence under Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000 (WA). Plaintiff’s appeal to the Court of Appeal dismissed

[2014] WADC 43
Kelly v Humanis Group Limited

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  Labour hire company client. Vicarious liablity for conduct of employee.  Driver of haulpak truck injured at iron ore mine. Rear tray of haulpak struck by bucket of loader. Claim for damages against labour hire company who employed the loader driver. No negligence. Transfer of control of employee to mining contractor. Loader driver employee pro hac vice of the mining contractor. Labour hire company not vicariously liable for conduct of its employee

[2014] WASCA 11
St John of God Health Care v Austin

On appeal client was not successful, but by majority decision.  One appeal judge would have allowed the appeal in favour of health care company client. .  At first instance client was not successful.  Workers’ compensation. Worker failed to make election to retain right to claim damage before commencing proceedings for damages

2013
[2013] WASC 355
McEwan v Director of Dispute Resolution

On appeal client was successful. At first instance client was not successful.  Farm company client. Workers’ compensation. Application for writ of certiorari against Director. Failure to extend ‘termination day’ to enable worker to elect to claim damages

[2013] WADC 41
Austin v The Electricity Networks Corporation [No 2]

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful.  Electricity supplier client. Public liability. Trespasser in transformer compound at disused quarry. High voltage electricity.  Electric shock from 22kV (22,000 volt) power lines to transformer. Loss of both legs. Engaged in criminal conduct. Defence under Offenders (Legal Action) Act 2000 (WA). Claim dismissed

[2013] WASCA 19
Thomas Peacock v Abreu

On appeal client was successful. At first instance client was not successful. Bed manufacturer client. Employer’s liability. Limitation period. Writ issued more than 3 years after cause of action accrued. Whether limitation period under Limitation Act 2005 (WA) applied or was excluded by Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA). Claim held to be statute barred. Action dismissed

2012
[2012] WASCA 258
Alinta 2000 Ltd v Petkov

On application for leave to appeal client was not successful.  At first instance client was not successful.  Gas supplier client. Alleged injury from residential gas explosion. Substitution of new defendant permitted

[2012] WADC 136
Taylor v Hanseatic Marine

At trial client was successful. Ship building company client. Employer’s liability. Employee working overseas on yacht and injured when travelling on a tender from harbour to the yacht. Whether foreseeable risk of injury. Whether breach of duty. Casual act of negligence. Causation

[2012] WASCA 19
Parlin v ChoiceOne Pty Ltd

On appeal client was successful before Court of Appeal. At trial client was not successful. Labour hire company client. Work accident. Hired driller’s offsider injured from fire on drill rig at mine site. Plaintiff’s claim settled. De facto employer sought contribution from labour hire company as legal employer and concurrent tortfeasor. Ordered to pay 20%

2011
[2011] WASCA 252
Van der Velde v Halloran

On appeal client was successful. Car crash. Failure of trial judge to give adequate reasons for decision. Dispute between medical experts about cause of plaintiff’s ongoing symptoms and disabilities. Trial judge found for the plaintiff but failed to give adequate reasons for, and did not address medical evidence that was against, his finding

[2011] WASCA 134
Divjakoski v Boral Window Systems

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was successful. Window manufacturer client. Appeal dismissed from trial judgment dismissing claim for damages. Work accident. Hired labourer allegedly injured from fall on wet floor surface

[2011] WASCA 92
Thornton v Newcrest Mining Ltd

On appeal client was not successful. Mining company client. Work accident at mine site. Worker settled claim against employer with entry of consent judgment that was satisfied. Then claimed in new action against occupier of mine site. Worker not precluded from proceeding with second claim.

2010
[2010] WADC 92
Barns v Parlin Pty Ltd

On appeal client was successful. At trial client was not successful. Labour hire company client. Work accident. Hired driller’s offsided injured from fire on drill rig at mine site. Plaintiff’s claim settled. De facto employer sought contribution from labour hire company as legal employer and concurrent tortfeasor

[2010] WADC 79
Brien v Hamersly Iron Pty Ltd

At trial client was successful. Mining company client. Work accident. Contract geologist. Received workers’ compensation in Victoria. Claimed damages for negligence in Western Australia. Held that worker required to have agreement as to or assessment of degree of permanent disability.

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