What will a court decide to do if a company that is at fault is no longer registered?
In a recent case brought before the Supreme Court in New South Wales, a man sued several defendants who he claims were in some way responsible for an issue that caused a gas regulator to explode where he was working. The events happened back in 2010, and he suffered severe burns and other personal injuries that caused disability.
The third-party sub-contractor, a plumbing company, that improperly installed the gas regulator that exploded was apparently uninsured at the time the explosion occurred and it has since be deregistered. These facts are common ground in the case, and as such, the company is a non-party. The third defendant is the insurer of the deregistered company, however.
Another of the defendants is a different plumbing company, which wasn’t directly involved with installing the gas regulator but had done gas fitting work in the area before the incident happened in February 2010. One of the plaintiff’s claims is that this defendant showed negligence by failing to see that the original installation had been improper.
A central issue in the case is determining whether or not a required compliance plate had been installed. According to regulation 11 of the Dangerous Goods (Gas Installations) Regulation 1998 (NSW) a person performing gas fitting work must detach the compliance plate before work begins on a regulator and reattach it after everything has been completed.
The allegation from the plaintiff is that the plumbing company didn’t follow these guidelines by detaching or attaching the plate, and that they hadn’t properly examined the installation to make sure it was compliant.
The judge stated that, while the plumbing company could have done a better job at examining the original installation, he wasn’t satisfied that the claim was substantial.
The court ordered for the case to move forward and to allow another defendant, a gas company that was involved with the gas regulator’s service, to cross examine on the topic of the compliance plate and overall negligence from the plumbing company. The final outcome of the plaintiff’s overall lawsuit is still undecided.
While determining who’s at fault in a negligent matter can be tricky, if you’ve suffered a personal injury because of a party’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive public liability compensation. Get in touch with our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to discuss your options.