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Chan v Acres [2015] NSWSC 1885

Authors: Katherine Allsop and Simon Lusk

In the wake of Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v Owners Corporation Strata Plan 61288 and another [2014] HCA 36, this case revisits the issue of what makes a plaintiff sufficiently vulnerable to the acts or omissions by a defendant for a court to impose a duty of care to avoid causing the plaintiff economic loss.  It is clear from this case that the court must look at all the salient features of the relationship between the parties, with a focus on vulnerability, before it can determine if such a duty exists.  In this case, the existence of known reliance by the plaintiff and the assumption of responsibility by the defendant were key features on which the court relied to impose such a duty.

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