LAWS1114 Assignment References



  • Tame v NSW; Annetts v Australian Stations Pty Ltd (2002) 211 CLR 317. - If you only read ONE case on Pure Mental Harm, make it this one!
  • Gifford v Strang Patrick Stevedoring Pty Ltd (2003) 214 CLR 269. - Effectively just confirms Annetts. As such, less important, but can still generally be cited in all the same places
  • White v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1999] 2 AC 455 - Great case dealing with professional rescuers, albeit under the UK system. Raises LOTS of interesting discussion points
  • Mount Isa Mines Ltd v Pusey (1970) 125 CLR 383 - Good example of the older High Court reasoning on what is arguably a rescue case
  • Chadwick v British Transport Commission (1967) 1 WLR 912. - Most analgous case to the current facts, since it involves mental harm as a result of rescue work at a train accident
  • Page v Smith [1996] AC 155 - Another UK Common Law decision focusing on the foreseeability of mental harm. Potentially relevant
  • Chapman v Hearse (1961) 106 CLR 112 - Arguably a rescue case, though also arguably evidence of Australian courts unwillingness to accept the idea of 'rescue cases' if they can avoid it
  • Hegarty v Queensland Ambulance Service [2007] QSC 90 - deals with the professional rescuer side of the equation in Queensland - but he's suing his employer, rather than the people who caused the various accidents that led to the mental harm, so the duty side is MUCH easier to establish. Probably still fairly persuasive though, since it shows that professional rescuers *can* successfully sue for mental harm.
  • Ilosfai v Excel Technik Pty Ltd [2003] QSC 275 - looks at the normal mental fortitude threshold side of things (though again, he's suing his employer, so its more at the causation stage)
  • Hancock v Nominal Defendant [2001] QCA 227 - actually pre-dates Tame/Annetts and shows the Queensland Appeals Court effectively rejecting sudden shock/direct perception as requirements back in 2001
  • Chester v Council of Municipality of Waverley (1939) 62 CLR 1 - although on the whole the case has received negative treatment (Jaensch v Coffey), this seems to be in reference to the way the issue of normal fortitude was dealt with. the idea that rescuers are owed a duty which refers to an American case (Wagner v International Railway Company) has not been mentioned in any of the subsequent cases that disapprove of Chester. it is important to note that Evatt J was in dissent however in Jaensch, Brennan comments that Evatt's principles regarding rescuers were well stated. so, please correct me if I'm wrong but would that not mean that as per Evatt there is a secondary duty to prevent injury to rescuers, and injury includes psychiatric harm?

Journal Articles

  • Compensation for the injured rescuer: A comparative study by Joachim Dietrich, TORTS LAW JOURNAL; 9 (1) February 2001: 57-79 - Analysis of common law rulings on rescuers contrasted with German law
  • Rescuers and nervous shock by Michael Eburn, AUSTRALIAN LAW JOURNAL; 73 (2) February 1999: 132-138 - HARD COPY ONLY - 4th floor of law library - looks at common law take on rescuers and psychiatric harm, with a particular focus on the rulings in White.
  • * Now you see it, now you don't: Black letter reflections on the legacies of White v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police by Paula Case, TORTS LAW JOURNAL; 18 (1).