Insurance Law

Insurance Law

Daniel Scognamiglio examines the Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co Limited v Zafar [2019] EWCA Civ 392 case, which serves as an important reminder to all witnesses as to making false or exaggerated statements.

The Court of Appeal recently considered the consequences for any person where they had made a deliberate or reckless statement in a document used by the court and verified by a statement of truth. That consequence would usually be immediate committal to prison. This would almost certainly be the case where it was an expert who had made a false statement recklessly or deliberately.

Read more: If you are a claimant, witness or an expert making a false statement it is likely that you will...

Authors: Mark Brookes, Partner & John Sutton, Solicitor

The decision from Bechini v IUS Pty Limited (ABN 93 003 359 279 (in Liquidation) [2019] NSWSC 427highlights the importance for insurers to routinely review their insurance contracts to ensure they reflect developments with relevant case law and statute. 

This matter was brought by way of an application by the insurer seeking a determination of a collateral issue relevant to the principal proceedings concerning the conduct of IUS Pty Ltd (IUS) in providing professional services. IUS was an architectural firm established in around 2004 that was placed in external administration on 5 August 2013 and was wound up shortly thereafter.

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The decision from Delta Pty Ltd v Mechanical and Construction Insurance Pty Ltd [2019] QCA 62 highlights the subtle yet important difference between liability for causing harm and liability for defective performance of a contract resulting in economic loss. Also highlighted is that issues surrounding the formulation of a settlement are complex and caution must be exercised when parties are considering a Settlement Deed. Finally, the case is a reminder that a prudent step for a principal contractor is to undertake thorough due diligence to ensure that any sub-contractors have appropriate insurance cover for the nature and scope of the project being embarked upon.

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Authors: Rebecca Stevens, Partner & Allison Bailey, Senior Associate

Blood is not always thicker than water as the recent decision of the District Court of New South Wales in Manmi v Manmi [2019] NSWDC 96 showed earlier this month.

The plaintiff sued his brother in negligence and breach of contract for injuries allegedly sustained when he slipped on a bath mat in the bathroom of the defendant’s house, fell backwards and struck his head and neck on the edge of the bath tub.

Read more: Brother v Brother: Case of the Red Bath Mat

Authors: Katherine Hayes & Elise Turnbull, Senior Associate

On 21 December 2018, in Neville’s Bus Service Pty Ltd v Pitcher Partners Consulting Pty Ltd1, Justice O’Callaghan of the Federal Court of Australia entered judgment for Neville’s Bus Service Pty Ltd (NBS) against Pitcher Partners2 (PP) for approximately $5.5 million for deceit in relation to a simple amortisation error. Significantly, the error was incorrectly included by PP in financial modelling figures it prepared to assist NBS submit a tender bid. On 21 February 2019, it was further ordered that PP pay NBS’s legal costs of the proceeding on an indemnity basis, fixed at just over $3.3 million.

Read more: Admit to obvious errors, or risk a finding of deceit with indemnity costs