There is no factor arising from either the structure and purpose of the legislation, as expounded in the authorities, or an analysis of the text of the relevant sections in those decisions, which provides any justification for a conclusion that a plaintiff or potential plaintiff is confined in the pursuit of a claim for damages by the precise semantic description of the injury in the notice of assessment. So long as it is clear that the notice of assessment and the notice of claim (or subsequent statement of claim) are referring to the same injury, differences in the seriousness and significance attributed to that injury are matters to be resolved on the merits at the trial. But that I think is not really the issue in the present case: it is whether a notice of assessment which by implication attributes the injury to a particular “event”, precludes a claimant from pursuing a claim for damages on the basis that the injury identified in the notice of assessment was caused by some different “event” within the meaning of those expressions in the Act. Once the issue in the present case is correctly identified in those terms, the respondent’s proposition becomes, it seems to me, essentially unarguable, being supported neither by the terms of the legislation nor any of the authorities to which I have been referred.
David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister.