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Litigating Against Homeowners?

This week's blogpost is from Deborah at QIA Group and contains important information about 

the increase in litigation against home owners. - Liz (Abode Strata)



Home Ownership gets Litigious

Recently in the Courier Mail (Brisbane based Newspaper) we read this article with interest — it appears home owners are on notice in regards to safety.


[Article text]

Home Owners need to make themselves aware of hazards on their property and warn visitors, including handymen, of the dangers, a Court of Appeal decision has emphasised.

Two solicitors have to pay a widow almost $500,000.00 after her husband was fatally injured while gardening on their Brisbane suburban property.

Vicki Jenner of Shine Lawyers said Cawood Hancock, 61 fell about 2m down a drainage pipe, injuring his knee. He died 17 days later, on October 24 last year, after developing a pulmonary embolism.

Ms Jenner said District Court of Appeal decisions both found that careful residential property owners had to familiarise themselves with their own properties and any hazards of risks. She said the case was a lesson to anyone who owned a residential property of how easily accidents could happen.

A judge ordered Indooroopilly couple Michelle and David Johnson pay Ascot widow Annette Hancock $445,515.00 for the loss of her husband. They appealed the decision.

Mr Hancock had been asked to trim the Johnsons’ hedge but when he stepped back, with chainsaw in hand, the metal lid and grate over a drain pipe collapsed and he fell, the District Court heard.

The Court of Appeal said the trial judge was entitled to reject the Johnsons’ denial of any knowledge of the metal pipe before Mr Hancock’s fall. The judge said there was an obligation for the Johnsons’ to inspect the area to see if there were any hazards.

[Article ends]


This is going to be interesting as the landscape is becoming more litigious at every turn. If you require the assistance of a professional company with a wealth or knowledge in the area of safety, please call QIA to discuss your requirements.

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The advice within is general and has been prepared without taking into account any specific or personal objectives, financial situation or needs.

Please also note this general advice was provided prior to the new strata title amendments were proclaimed and will be updated in due course.

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