O’MEALLY P, where liability was admitted gave judgment against Amaca Pty Limited (formerly James Hardie & Coy Pty Limited) to a 60 year old plaintiff for $797,461.19, together with indemnity costs from 18 June 2010 as follows:
- General damages $250,000.00
- Interest on past general damages $750.00
- Loss of expectation of life $27,500.00
- Past out of pocket expenses $35,000.00
- Future medical and hospital expenses $75,000.00
- Past and future Griffiths v Kerkemeyer expenses and interest $70,000.00
- Adaptive equipment $3,410.00
- Naturopathic medicine $4,000.00
- Past loss of income including superannuation and interest $20,886.19
- Loss of earning capacity $294,000.00
- Future loss of superannuation $27,095.00
Total of $797,461.19
There was little dispute in the mind of the President that General damages were in the order of $250,000.00.
$50,000.00 was allowed for past Generals.
Likewise, loss of expectation of life, Griffiths v Kerkemeyer and Specials were settled.
The main controversy was past loss of income and future loss of earning capacity. In the mix was the plaintiffs ‘hobby’ farm, which provided taxation concession, together with contingencies as to future studies. The defendant submitted the income loss available from the farm should be deducted, together with the actual cost of producing income by way of enabling the exercise of capacity to work.
President O’Meally accepted the plaintiff would have worked until the age of $70 years and had a good work history. He allowed $940.80 per week loss without any deduction for the loss from the farm or the cost of exercising the capacity to work for the future.
A discount for vicissitudes and future contingencies was restricted to 15%.
Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack