April 21, 2023

The New South Wales Court of Appeal yesterday delivered the (probably) final test case ruling relating to the 2014 Rhine River cruise disruption and disappointment damages class action case involving Scenic Tours.

This decision – Scenic Tours Pty Ltd v Moore [2023] NSWCA 74 delivered by NSW appeal judges Ward P, Kirk JA and Griffiths AJA was the fifth major decision in this litigation and the second after the High Court of Australia endorsed the passengers rights to recover damages in 2020.

Full Steam Ahead For River Cruise Disappointment DamagesThe appeal judges resoundingly endorsed the rulings made by Justice Garling in April 2022 setting out the principles upon which damages should be assessed for each passenger namely, the amount they are entitled to for “disappointment frustration and distress”; and the proportion of the cruise fare that must be refunded by the cruise operator.

There was only one area of disagreement. The appeal judges ruled by a majority (two judges in favour and one dissenting), that passengers cannot also recover the cost of travel from their place of residence to the port of embarkation for the cruise.

Barring one more appeal to the High Court on behalf of the passengers – which is not unlikely given the 2/1 ruling as to recovery of the cost of travel to the point of departure – the assessment of compensation for each individual passenger can now begin.


Categories: Cruise ship injury

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