Full Court Minute Books

Case S142/2014

Hunter and New England Local Health District v. McKenna

Hunter and New England Local Health District v. Simon & Anor

Case No.

S142/2014; S143/2014

Case Information

Lower Court Judgment

23/12/2013 Supreme Court of New South Wales (Court of Appeal) (Beazley P, Macfarlan JA and Garling J)

[2013] NSWCA 476


Tort law - Negligence - Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) ("CLA"), ss 5B, 5D(1), 5O(1), 43(1) and 43A - Person detained as mentally ill person under Mental Health Act 1990 (NSW) and discharged next day into care of friend - Person had psychotic episode and killed friend - Family of deceased claimed damages for mental harm due to shock of learning of death - Whether health authorities owe a duty of care to third parties in exercise of statutory powers to detain and discharge mentally ill patients - Whether it is appropriate for health authority's scope of liability to extend to patient's unlawful action in killing the respondents' relative - Whether professional service provided must have conformed to "a practice" that was in existence at time it was provided and must that "practice" be widely accepted by peer professional opinion - Whether a finding of common law negligence can give rise to liability that is "based on a breach of statutory duty" - Whether s 43A of CLA provides a defence to health authority.

Short particulars


20/06/2014 Hearing (SLA, Sydney)

03/07/2014 Notice of appeal

25/07/2014 Written submissions (Appellant - S142/2014)

25/07/2014 Chronology (Appellant - S142/2014)

25/07/2014 Written submissions (Appellant - S143/2014)

25/07/2014 Chronology (Appellant - S143/2014)

20/08/2014 Written submissions (Respondent - S142/2014)

20/08/2014 Written submissions (Respondents - S143/2014)

03/09/2014 Reply (S142/2014)

03/09/2014 Reply (S143/2014)

08/10/2014 Hearing (Full Court, Canberra) (Audio-visual recording)

12/11/2014 Judgment (Judgment summary)