Sanction: predilection to past drug use not a basis for a sanction

Hewitt v Bayntun & Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd [2015] QSC 250

McMeekin J

His Honour considered whether a claim compromised in sum of $1,000,000 was required to be sanctioned pursuant to s59 Public Trustee Act 1978 (Qld) and whether an administrator should be appointed – ‘a person with impaired capacity for a matter within the meaning of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000’ – Sch 2 s1, Sch 1, Sch 2 s8, Sch 40 ss10, 82 & 245 Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld).

His Honour declined to sanction the settlement on the basis the plaintiff in his current position understood nature and effect of compromise. His Honour noted that the concern arose out of a previous extensive drug history of the plaintiff and the current need for methadone as pain relief.  Whilst there was some concern as to relapse in the future and impact of that on the financial administration of the plaintiff’s settlement, there was no present incapacity. His Honour found the Court’s power to order administrator via QCAT depended on the plaintiff satisfying the definition of a ‘financial matter’ and the plaintiff’s current circumstances did not satisfy the definition.

His Honour concurred with the remarks of Lee J in H v Nominal Defendant [1997] QSC 223:

“The Welfare State still permits a man to waste or give away his substance unless one or other of those conditions is fulfilled”.


David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister & Mediator

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