By and -

Key decisions

  • Capar v SPG Investments Pty Ltd t/as Lidcombe Power Centre
    [2020] NSWCA 354
  • Young v Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals NSW
    [2020] NSWCA 360
  • De Lorenzo v De Lorenzo [2020] NSWCA 351


Negligence – security industry – employer and occupier liability – voluntary assumption of risk

Capar v SPG Investments Pty Ltd t/as Lidcombe Power Centre [2020] NSWCA 354

Background: A security guard employed at the Lidcombe Power Centre encountered an intruder who entered the premises by climbing through a gap above an external roller door and up a set of fire stairs. The security guard detected the presence of the intruder near the premises from external CCTV cameras, but lost sight of him, as the CCTV did not extend to an area where other intruders had entered a month earlier. The security guard left the control room to investigate, whereupon he encountered the intruder approaching him, wielding an axe, threatening to kill him. The security guard suffered psychiatric harm as a result of the incident.

The security guard brought proceedings in negligence variously against the occupier of the premises, the security management business and his employer, which contracted to the security management business.

At first instance: The trial judge had held that by leaving the safety of the control room and accosting the intruder, the security guard voluntarily assumed the risk of harm he suffered and was the ‘author of his own downfall’.

Decision: On appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the circumstances did not support the finding that the security guard was solely responsible for his own misfortune.

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