High Court of Australia

Amaca Pty Limited (Under NSW Administered Winding Up) v Booth [2011] HCA 53

Amaba Pty Limited (Under NSW Administered Winding Up) v Booth

246 CLR 36

14 Dec 2011

Case Number: S219/2011 S220/2011

Before

French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan JJ

Catchwords

Evidence – Expert evidence - First respondent sued appellants in Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales - First respondent claimed exposure to asbestos fibres in breach of each appellant's duty of care caused his mesothelioma - First respondent's expert evidence that cumulative exposure to asbestos contributed to mesothelioma accepted at trial - Appellants led epidemiological evidence disputing link between exposure to asbestos of members of first respondent's profession and risk of mesothelioma - Whether inference of fact concerning contraction of disease reasonably open on evidence.

Negligence – Causation - Whether more probable than not that appellants' negligence was a cause of first respondent's disease - Whether issues of causation lie within common knowledge and experience - Role of expert medical evidence.

Practice and procedure – Appeal - No evidence - Appeal from Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales to Supreme Court of New South Wales - Section 32 of Dust Diseases Tribunal Act 1989 (NSW) confers a right of appeal to Supreme Court against decision of Tribunal "in point of law" - Whether Tribunal erred in point of law when deciding that appellants' negligence more probably than not a cause of first respondent's disease.

Words and phrases – "causation", "cause and consequence", "epidemiological evidence", "manifest error", "mesothelioma".

Dust Diseases Tribunal Act 1989 (NSW) – s 32.

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