Recent Cases

Kozarov v Victoria [2022] HCA 12 (13 April 2022) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Keane, Gordon, Edelman, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Negligence – Causation – Workplace injury – Psychiatric injury – Where appellant employed in Specialist Sexual Offences Unit of Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions (“OPP”) – Where appellant found to have suffered psychiatric injury resulting from vicarious trauma suffered in employment – Whether respondent failed to take reasonable measures in response to evident signs of psychiatric injury – Whether respondent’s failure caused exacerbation of psychiatric injury.

Negligence – Duty of care – Content of employer’s duty to employee to take reasonable care to avoid psychiatric injury – Where OPP adopted Vicarious Trauma Policy to protect psychiatric health of employees – Whether appellant needed to show evident signs warning of possibility of psychiatric injury – Effect of decision in Koehler v Cerebos (Australia) Ltd (2005) 222 CLR 44.

Words and phrases – “duty of care”, “evident signs”, “psychiatric injury”, “real review”, “safe system of work”, “sentinel event”, “tort”, “vicarious trauma”.