PIPA: Paradigmatic example of s.59 leave to commence

Dunbabin v Camilleri [2021] QCA 144

The appellant sought leave to commence pursuant to s.59 of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (PIPA).

The appellant had been assaulted and the respondent entered a plea of guilty. Subsequently, the appellant delivered a claim under the PIPA for the injury to the respondent. Whilst the appellant gave the claim notice outside of the 9 months, the respondent failed to respond to the claim. Accordingly, the claim under PIPA was deemed to be “compliant” pursuant to s.13 of PIPA.

The appellant subsequently sought leave to commence proceedings in the District Court. The application was outside of the 3 year limitation period. Nevertheless, because the claim was complaint under s.59 of the PIPA it was not fatal, provided the court granted leave. The District Court refused to grant leave.

President Sofronoff (Mullins JA and Brown J agreeing) stated:

[16] The present case is a paradigmatic example. The allegations of fact concerning the assault which give rise to the claim have all been documented. As it happens, that documentation was to the standard demanded by criminal proceedings. The respondent has admitted the elements of the cause of action in the most solemn way possible by a plea of guilty. The transcript of the sentencing proceedings will probably show that he has also admitted the whole facts of the case concerning liability. The appellant has disclosed all of the relevant materials concerning liability, or at least those which existed before he made the application for an extension of time.

President Sofronoff was not persuaded that there was any prejudice or that it was unfair to the respondent [20].

Accordingly, leave was given to commence proceedings.

David Cormack

Briabane Barrister and Mediator

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