Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority t/as Seqwater v Rodriguez and Sons Pty Ltd [2021] NSWCA 206 (08 September 2021) (Basten JA; Meagher JA; Leeming JA)


Catchwords:


APPEALS – leave to appeal – representative proceedings – interlocutory orders – orders final with respect to the representative party – no finality as to group members claims – challenge to answers to common questions

TORTS – negligence – standard of care – acts or omissions of public authority – exercise of statutory function – statutory protection – application of Wednesbury standard of care – Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) s 36

NEGLIGENCE – standard of care – conduct of flood operations – compliance with Flood Operations Manual – construction of Manual written by flood engineers for application by flood engineers – purposive construction – dual purposes of water supply and flood mitigation – concept of flood mitigation – releases not to exceed peak inflows – use of best available rainfall forecasts – degrees of tolerance – scope for professional judgment – role of the senior flood operations engineer in determining strategies

NEGLIGENCE – causation – factual causation – cumulative effect of sequential breaches – series of acts jointly sufficient to cause harm – division of single course of conduct into discrete breaches artificial

TORTS – damage to property – whether liability apportionable – concurrent wrongdoers – whether acting independently of each other – Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) s 30

TORTS – damages – prejudgment interest on damages – property damage – awards with respect to cleaning undertaken by volunteers – interest on such awards – interest on subventions in form of charitable relief

COSTS – apportionment of costs – wrongful conduct governed by Queensland law – proceedings brought in New South Wales – Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW), s 98 applied