Hallmark Construction Pty Ltd v Brett Harford; Copeland Building Services Pty Ltd v Hallmark Construction Pty Ltd; Hallmark Construction Pty Ltd v Harford Transport Pty Ltd [2020] NSWCA 41 (17 March 2020) (Basten JA at [1]; Meagher JA at [110]; Emmett AJA at [111])


Catchwords:


TORTS – general principles – vicarious liability – workplace – liability of builder for negligent acts of supervisor on building site – supervisor employed by independent contractor – supervisor under builder’s control – whether employer of supervisor vicariously liable for negligence of supervisor

TORTS – negligence – apportionment of responsibility between tortfeasors – both parties occupied parts of building site – liability of head contractor – liability of subcontractor undertaking building work – heavy metal plate covering penetration into underground retention pit removed – replacement with empty pallet – delivery driver injured by fall into pit

TORTS – negligence – contributory negligence – injury to driver of truck – delivery of supplies to building site before dawn – driver clearing site of empty pallet – concealed penetration into underground retention pit – Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), s 5R

TORTS – negligence – employer – duty of corporate alter ego of sole employee to provide safe system of work – business involved delivery of supplies to building sites – assessment of risks at sites not controlled by employer – Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW), s 5B