Recent Cases

123 259 932 Pty Ltd v Cessnock City Council [2023] NSWCA 21 (20 February 2023) (Macfarlan, Brereton and Mitchelmore JJA)


Catchwords:


CONTRACTS – Remedies – Damages – Reliance Damages – Presumption referred to in McRae v Commonwealth Disposals Commission and The Commonwealth v Amann Aviation – Whether primary judge erred in finding that the presumption did not arise – Presumption arises where expenditure is incurred by a plaintiff in reliance on a contractual promise made by the defendant and “wasted” because of non-performance by the defendant – No precondition that the plaintiff first establish it is “impossible” to prove expectation damages – Plaintiff proved conditions for presumption – Ground of Appeal upheld.

CONTRACTS – Remedies – Damages – Reliance Damages – Presumption referred to in McRae v Commonwealth Disposals Commission and The Commonwealth v Amann Aviation – Whether primary judge erred in finding presumption rebutted – Presumption rebutted where defendant demonstrates plaintiff would not have recouped expenditure – Contractual and non-contractual potential benefits of plaintiff to be considered in expenditure inquiry – Plaintiff rejected inferior offer of defendant – Innocent party to a contract entitled to insist on contractual rights rather than accept inferior proposal – Rejection of offer could not form reasonable basis for inference defendant would not have recouped expenditure – Presumption not rebutted – Ground of appeal upheld.

CONTRACTS – Remedies – Damages – Remoteness of damage – Whether primary judge erred in finding recovery was precluded by the rule in Hadley v Baxendale – Loss incurred by plaintiff reasonably can be supposed to have been in the contemplation of both parties when contract was made – Damages fall within the second limb of Hadley v Baxendale – Ground of appeal upheld.