Pure Psychiatric Harm

In cases of pure psychiatric harm which is not consequential upon physical injury to the plaintiff, the court is hesitant to impose a duty of care based on reasonable foreseeability alone.

Statutory Liability — CLA s 7(1) and s 7 (5) : The civil liability act does not create or confer any cause of action, and it is not a code. So therefore, where the act is silent, we must look to common law. Unlike the other Australian jurisdictions, the Qld CLA does not include provisions for establishing a duty of care in pure psychiatric harm cases.

The courts consider a number of factors in determining whether a duty of care is owed:

• Recognisable psychiatric illness - Hinz v Berry
• Proximity to the incident (or its immediate aftermath) - Jaensch v Coffey
• Sudden shock Jaensch, but now – Tame
• Plaintiff of normal fortitude - Tame
• Relationship between Pl and victim
• Relationship between Pl and def - Annetts
• Relationship between def and victim - Gifford