June 20, 2011

A “draconian” guillotine order that has the effect of automatically dismissing a motor accident injury compensation claim – should the plaintiff fail to observe the court’s requirements – was made last month in the District Court.
Richard Harrison who had already defaulted in attending a defendant medical examination had filed an application for leave to commence proceedings. In a departure from the conventional course, Allianz demanded terms for the granting of leave that will see the automatic dismissal of the claim if the plaintiff does not attend its medical examination, fails to participate in a compulsory conference or fails to file and serve a claim within the 60 day period following it.

Noting that the order, “in appearance, is draconian”, the court made it given that the plaintiff’s recently appointed lawyers were prepared to consent. Recording also that the previously self-represented plaintiff had misunderstood his obligations, the court went on to say that “there is still a possibility that if the plaintiff doesn’t do what is required under the legislation, his claim may be defeated. That will be very much his responsibility…”

Call me old fashioned but a stay pending compliance would generally be preferable to a Jacobin execution.

Harrison v Leaseplan Australia Ltd & Anor [2011] QDC 081 Robin QC DCJ 16/05/2011

Categories: Personal Injury , Litigation & Law Practice

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