Perre v Apand Pty Ltd; 12 Aug 1999

References: (1999) 198 CLR 180, [1999] HCA 36, [1999] 64 ALR 606, [1999] 64 73 ALJR 1190
Links: Austlii
Coram: Kirby J
Ratio: (High Court of Australia) The plaintiff farmers sought damages for financial losses incurred after the defendant negligently introduced a disease. Although the disease was not shown to have spread, neighbouring farm owners suffered economic loss by the imposition of a potato marketing ban in Western Australia attributable to the proximity of their farms to the outbreak of the disease, and sued the defendant for what was therefore pure economic loss (the absence of any escape of the disease preventing a claim under Rylands v. Fletcher).
Held: An important criterion for the imposition of liability for economic loss lay in ascertaining the extent to which the plaintiff was vulnerable to incurring loss by reason of the defendant’s conduct, and the extent to which that was or should have been apparent to the defendant.
Kirby J: ‘As against the approach which I favour, it has been said that the three identified elements are mere ‘labels’. So indeed they are. . . Labels are commonly used by lawyers. They help steer the mind through the task in hand.’
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – HM Customs and Excise v Barclays Bank Plc HL (Bailii, [2006] UKHL 28, [2007] 1 AC 181, [2006] 4 All ER 256, [2006] 2 LLR 327, [2006] 3 WLR 1, [2006] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 327, [2006] 1 CLC 1096)
    The claimant had served an asset freezing order on the bank in respect of one of its customers. The bank paid out on a cheque inadvertently as to the order. The Commissioners claimed against the bank in negligence. The bank denied any duty of care. . .
  • Cited – Calvert v William Hill Credit Ltd ChD (Bailii, [2008] EWHC 454 (Ch))
    The claimant said that the defendant bookmakers had been negligent in allowing him to continue betting when they should have known that he was acting under an addiction. The defendant company had a policy for achieving responsible gambling, . .

(This list may be incomplete)

Last Update: 28-Aug-16
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