Recent Cases

Chandrasekaran v Western Sydney Local Health District (t/as Westmead Hospital) [2023] NSWCA 288 (01 December 2023) (Gleeson, Leeming and Adamson JJA)


COURTS AND JUDGES — Apprehended bias —Where complaints on appeal concerning evidentiary rulings and time limitation on cross-examination of witness — Whether a fair-minded lay observer might reasonably apprehend that the judge might not bring an impartial and unprejudiced mind to issues — Where no basis identified for finding that judge decided case other than on legal or factual merits

COURTS AND JUDGES — Actual bias — Whether judge pre-judged appellant’s case — Where no basis for inferring that judge was not open to persuasion

CONSUMER LAW — Misleading or deceptive conduct — Whether Health District or recruitment agency misrepresented nature or location of appellant’s appointment to provide locum services as visiting medical officer (VMO) — Where appellant confirmed her correct understanding of the nature of locum role in contemporaneous emails and conversations

CONTRACTS — Breach of contract — Where appellant agreed to provide locum services as VMO under locum agreement — Where appointment terminated — Whether Health District’s discretion in locum agreement to determine amount of work “during the term” of agreement authorised termination

EQUITY — Breach of confidence — Where no evidence that Health District received confidential information

TORTS — Economic torts — Injurious falsehood — Malice — Where notification concerning appellant made to Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (AHPRA) — Where Health District responded to inquiry from Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) to provide documents and reports — Whether statements made to AHPRA and HCCC involved malice — Where challenge to findings that statements made in good faith

TORTS — Economic torts — Injurious falsehood —Where email inadvertently sent by recruitment agency to appellant and another employee of recruitment agency — Whether statement made to third party — Whether email malicious — Where recruitment agency decided not to arrange further VMO placements for appellant

APPEALS — From exercise of discretion — Procedural decisions — Where refusal of application to re-open case — Whether House v The King-type error established — Where no such error identified