Thursday, October 9, 2014

High Court said builder not liable to body corporate

The High Court has unanimously held that listed developer Brookfield ­Multiplex, the builder of the $60 million Chelsea apartment tower in ­Chatswood Sydney, did not owe a duty of care to the Owners Corporation (in Queensland terminology -- the body corporate) which lost money from defects.  The Owners Corporation, which includes Mantra, appealed an earlier decision in the Court of Appeal in the Supreme Court of NSW and had won.  However, the full bench of the High Court has overturned that decision.

Lawyer Emanuel Confos, for Brookfield Multiplex, said the result would have significant consequences for the building industry.  "This is a landmark decision for the construction industry because it ­clarifies an issue that has been around for many years and that is whether a builder owes a duty in contract and tort for a commercial development," Mr Confos said.  "And I believe the High Court has unanimously decided that no duty in tort is required only duty in contract," he said.

Decision is here.

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