Brooks v Zammit & Anor [2011] QSC 181

Quantum only

McMeekin J

General Damages

45 year old female


  • ·         Compression fracture of the L1 vertebra with 50% loss of vertebral height;
  • ·         Severe abdominal trauma with duodenal lacerations;
  • ·         Fractures of the 5th & 6th ribs;
  • ·         Fracture of the left 5th metacarpal;
  • ·         Bilateral navicular fractures of the feet;
  • ·         Adjustment disorder (phobia of vehicles) 4%

Preferred the evidence of Dr Campbell (20%) and Dr Shaw (20-22%) and Dr Curtis (20-23%) to Dr Guazzo (13%)

Found the dominant injury did not fit neatly into either Item 90 or 91. Assessed the top of Item 91. Allowed an uplift of 50%

ISV 52

Past loss of income and future lost capacity

 $10,000.00 for the past loss

Unemployed at the time although looking for work.

Situation also complicated by personal circumstances of having to look after grandchildren because their mother could not look after them and had the children taken off her. A detailed discussion of s.55 of the CLA was undertaken re: principle in Malec v JC Hutton Pty Ltd (1990) 169 CLR 638 at 640.[1]

 $165,000.00 for the future loss of capacity

A detailed discussion of the allowance because she had been unemployed largely because of domestic duties for some time, but prior to the accident had been looking for work and offered some interviews. The only means of assessing the loss by way of “impression”[2] on a global basis and an allowance of the children getting older and becoming less dependent. The amount was discounted for travelling costs for the costs of maintaining employment by 10%[3] – allowing a period of 20 years and discounting it by 50% to take into account the care of the children and other eventualities. [4]

Past and future G v K

Past care – $44,800.00

The threshold test in s.59 of the CLA was easily met.

Allowed a sliding scale for the need at an hourly rate of $24 and noted it reflected the commercial rates, but was not determined by agency rates. His Honour’s allowance differed from the allowances made by both O.T’s.

Future: $300,000.00

His Honour accepted there was a degree of speculation, but the chance of its occurrence was not negligible[5]

In broad terms an allowance of 6 hours a week for domestic assistance; 2 hours for driving and 1 hour for the carer’s travelling until the age of 70[6] was made and then at a higher rate reflective of agency costs from the age of 70 years.

Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack

[1] [34] if parliament had parliament intended to exclude it, express wording would have provided for it.

[2] [40].

[3] [37]; [41]-[42] Sharman v Evans (1977) 138 CLR 563.

[4] [41]-[42].

[5] [77].

[6] [78] at the Award rate of $26.20 and then at $32.00. No discount because the contingencies were likely to increase the need for care and not the opposite. Relied on the life expectancy tables as the best guide: Wells v Wells; Thomas v Brighton Health Authority [1999] 1 AC 345.

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