Caltex Oil (Australia) Pty Ltd v Dredge “Willemstad”: 9 Dec 1976

Austlii (High Court of Australia) Negligence – Duty of care – Foreseeability of harm – Economic loss not consequential upon damage to person or property – Damage to property of one person – Economic loss suffered by person as a result – Pipeline carrying oil to plaintiff’s depot – Damaged by defendant’s negligence – Supply interrupted – Pipeline and depot owned by different persons – Expense incurred by plaintiff in arranging alternative means of delivery – Whether recoverable – Remoteness of loss or damage.
Shipping and Navigation – Action in rem – Action against ship – Negligence – Master not sued as defendant – Appearance entered by master – No proprietary interest in ship – Whether master liable to judgment.
A pipeline was damaged and the owner of the terminal (who was not the owner of the pipeline) incurred expense in transporting refined oil to the terminal while the pipeline was out of use.
Held: The plaintiff was entitled to recover that expense from the dredger which had damaged the pipeline. Jacobs J said that the duty of care owed to the owner of the pipeline was also owed to ‘a person whose property was in such physical propinquity to the place where the acts of omissions of the dredge . . had their physical effect that a physical effect on the property of that person was foreseeable as the result of such acts or omissions’.


Gibbs, Stephen, Mason, Jacobs and Murphy JJ.


[1976] HCA 65, (1976) 136 CLR 529





Cited by:

ApprovedCandlewood Navigation Corporation Limited v Mitsui OSK Lines Limited and Matsuoka Steamship Co Limited PC 1-Jul-1985
(New South Wales) Two ships had collided, after, without negligence, an anchor on one ship failed. The Supreme Court had found the crew negligent after failing to react appropriately to the loss of the anchor. The company now appealed against the . .
CitedD Pride and Partners (A Firm) and Others v Institute for Animal Health and Others QBD 31-Mar-2009
The claimants sought damages after the loss of business when the defendants’ premises were the source of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. The organism had escaped from their premises via a broken drain.
Held: Much of the damage claimed . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Damages, Negligence, Transport

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.331084