Morris v Redland City Council [2015] QSC 135

The plaintiff was severely injured when he fell from the top of a cliff on North Stradbroke Island to the beach below. Quantum was agreed.

Martin J dismissed the plaintiff’s claim against the Redlands Council on:

  • Foreseeability,
  • Breach;
  • Obvious risk (ss 13 and 15 Civil Liability Act); and
  • If wrong about the above – assessed a 50% reduction for consumption of alcohol (s.47 CLA)

His Honour found the council did not cause or allow grassy path to exist and there was no path through headland to cliff. Hence, the risk that someone might fall from top of cliff was not reasonably foreseeable. His Honour considered if he was wrong about this that the plaintiff failed to establish the council should have erected a warning or sign.

In relation to the claim against and the second defendant trustee which was abandoned by the plaintiff at trial, Martin J found that the prospect of success of that action were so remote it should not have been brought or continued and ordered costs on indemnity basis.

David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister & Mediator

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