High Court of Australia

Hunter and New England Local Health District v McKenna [2014] HCA 44

Hunter and New England Local Health District v Simon

12 Nov 2014

Case Number: S142/2014 S143/2014


French CJ, Hayne, Bell, Gageler, Keane JJ


Negligence – Duty of care – Statutory duties – Mental Health Act 1990 (NSW) provided for admission and detention of mentally ill persons in hospital – Act prohibited detention or continuation of detention of mentally ill person in hospital unless medical superintendent formed opinion that no other care of less restrictive kind appropriate and reasonably available – Alleged negligence of hospital and medical staff in discharging mentally ill person – Whether hospital and medical staff owed common law duty of care to protect other persons against harm caused by mentally ill person upon discharge ¬– Whether duties under Act inconsistent with common law duty of care.

Words and phrases – "duty of care", "inconsistent duties", "mentally ill person".

Mental Health Act 1990 (NSW) – Ch 4, Pt 2, Div 1.

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