Recent Cases

Cessnock City Council v 123 259 932 Pty Ltd [2024] HCA 17 (08 May 2024) (Gageler CJ; Gordon, Edelman, Steward, Gleeson, Jagot and Beech-Jones JJ)


Damages – Contract – Where appellant owned land on which airport located – Where appellant and respondent entered into agreement by which respondent to lease prospective lot at airport – Where appellant breached obligation in agreement to take all reasonable action to apply for and obtain registration of plan of subdivision – Where respondent spent considerable sums in anticipation of or reliance on appellant’s performance – Where expenditure wasted due to breach of contract by appellant – Where respondent entitled to be placed in the position it would have been in had the contract been performed – Whether respondent entitled to recover wasted expenditure – Proper approach to method of proof for plaintiff to establish position plaintiff would have been in if contract performed, where plaintiff incurred expenditure in anticipation of or reliance on performance of defendant’s contractual obligation and defendant’s breach has effect that expenditure wasted.

Words and phrases – “anticipation of”, “assessment of damages”, “breach of contract”, “consequential loss”, “contract”, “damages”, “expectation damages”, “facilitation of proof”, “facilitation principle”, “fair wind”, “loss”, “onus of proof”, “presumption”, “presumption of recoupment”, “reasonably incurred”, “reliance damages”, “reliance on”, “uncertainty of proof”, “wasted expenditure”.