Hsu v RACQ Insurance Limited; Lee v RACQ Insurance Limited [2019] HCA 28 (04 September 2019) (Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Nettle and Edelman JJ)


Catchwords:


Insurance law – Motor vehicles – Personal injury – Where appellant injured in motor vehicle collision – Where appellant gave evidence father driving vehicle at time of collision – Where appellant alleged injuries caused by negligence of father – Where appellant’s blood located on driver’s airbag – Where expert evidence relating to possible source of blood – Where expert evidence relating to seatbelt and airbag design – Where trial judge concluded appellant driving vehicle – Where Court of Appeal dismissed appeal – Whether trial judge’s findings glaringly improbable or contrary to compelling inferences.

Appeal – Rehearing – Where trial judge drew inferences and made findings of fact based on lay and expert evidence – Where Court of Appeal found inferences wrong in material respects – Whether Court of Appeal erred in failing to conclude trial judge misused advantage as trial judge – Whether Court of Appeal failed to conduct “real review” of evidence given and trial judge’s reasons for judgment.

Words and phrases – “contrary to compelling inferences”, “glaringly improbable”, “real review”, “trial judge’s advantage”.