February 18, 2016

A real estate agent litigating his own claim against Suncorp has told the Queensland Supreme Court that he was “a bit confused” when he updated his statement of claim to include a $4 million ask for general damages.

Donald Edwards also sought to amend his rear-ender claim to include $600k lost income from his career as a professional golfer in foregone prize money, lesson fees and golf club sales.

His ask as originally filed sought damages for disruption to his real estate franchise business and speculative renovations on resale properties, at a $1 million total. To top this up, he proposed another $1.3 million for losses as a sales agent.

Leave was refused by the Supreme Court because a request for a trial date had already been signed and Edwards provided no affidavit material with the application to support or explain the basis of the new claims proposed.

Edwards, though self-represented “had experience and knew enough about pleadings to understand that an assertion of the kind sought to be pleaded now should have been properly pleaded and particularised,” said the applications judge.

He was also puzzled by the effect of the proposed amendments on fundamental allegations about liability and to allow the proposed amendments would further delay proceedings which had already been delayed.

In Edwards’ own words, the purpose of the application “was just tidying up” and some of the new claims were intended as alternative asks.

The accident occurred in July 2009 and Suncorp has admitted liability. The injuries claimed are in respect of his spine, knee and also a chronic adjustment disorder.

The appeal judges agreed that the proposed amendments were generally confusing and in many respects, unnecessary.
They ruled that there had been no error shown in the lower judge’s exercise of discretion against land granting leave to amend.

Adjudication of the damages payable on the claim will occur later in 2016.

Edwards v Romaguera & Anor [2016] QCA 016 Holmes CJ and Margaret McMurdo P and Gotterson JA 09/02/2016

Categories: Personal Injury , Litigation & Law Practice

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