Amaca Pty Limited v Latz; Latz v Amaca Pty Limited  HCA 22 (13 June 2018)
I refer you to the judgment summary and the uncontentious facts. Mr Latz contracted mesothelioma and claimed the loss of his pension ($5,106.00 per annum) and superannuation ($51,162.00 per annum) for the ‘lost years’ – a period of 16 years whence his life expectancy had been reduced.
The Full Court of South Australia allowed the claim for the superannuation and the pension but reduced the pension for the revisionary component payable to Mr Latz’s partner on his death.
Amaca appeal both and Mr Latz appealed the finding about the revisionary component.
The High Court upheld the claim for the superannuation on the basis it was akin to earning capacity and the product of Mr Latz’s exploitation of his “capital asset”. However, the pension was not categorised as such a loss and it was also not a form of property which could not be included in Mr Latz’s damages award.
Kiefel CJ and Keane J diverged from the majority in their reasoning about superannuation being included as a loss of earning capacity or a loss which could be claimed during the lost years.
David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister & Mediator