Punitive damages and Jury A trial by jury is unusual in almost all countries for non-criminal cases Another head of damages that can be awarded is called "punitive damages", or sometimes "exemplary damages". The word "punitive" means punishment and the word "exemplary" implies that damages should "make an example" of the wrongdoer. The purpose of such damages are twofold:
Helicopter accidents and the law of negligence Last Updated: Claim for economic loss after helicopter strikes power line This decision of the NSW Court of Appeal handed down on 12 March in the case AV8 Air Charter Pty Ltd v Sydney Helicopters Pty Ltd  NSWCA 46 concerned a claim for economic loss in the form of diminution in the resale value of a helicopter and loss of profits during the period in which it could not be used or hired whilst undergoing repairs arising from an accident which occurred on 29 Januarywhen the helicopter struck an overhead power line during a flight from Scone to Sydney.
The helicopter had descended below cloud level in deteriorating weather conditions when it struck the power line in a valley in restricted military air space near Singleton Army Base in NSW.
The presence of the power line was not indicated on the navigation chart available to the pilot. Aside from issues regarding the quantum of the claim, issues before the court were whether the pilot had been negligent and, if so, whether liability should be apportioned under the Civil Liability Act NSW.
Pilot had little option but to take the route he did The trial judge at first instance had made findings to the effect that the deteriorating weather conditions and increase in cloud gave the pilot little option but to make the choice of route which he did.
It was maintained in the appeal that the pilot had been negligent in flying in restricted air space in contravention of the Civil Aviation Regulation CAR and in flying below a safe altitude and at a height lower than feet above the highest point of terrain within a radius of metres of a point on the terrain vertically below the aircraft, in contravention of CAR Court of Appeal agrees that pilot's course was due to deteriorating weather Following analysis of the evidence in relation to the accident given at the trial, the Court of Appeal judges found that there was ample evidence to support the trial judge's conclusions that the pilot took the course which he did as the weather was closing in on him.
The pilot himself gave evidence to that effect and there was then no need further to define or analyse what "closing in" meant. While there was a challenge to the judge's findings that at the time of the wire strike the helicopter was approximately feet above ground level, nothing turned on that issue.
Availability of fuel was also taken into account by the pilot in his decision-making, notwithstanding that he still had plenty of fuel left at the time of the accident. The inquiry about breach of duty must attempt to identify the reasonable person's response to foresight of the risk of occurrence of the injury which the plaintiff suffered.
That inquiry must attempt, after the event to judge what the reasonable person would have done to avoid what is now known to have occurred. Breach of Civil Aviation Regulations not necessarily negligence Discounting the joint expert reports, it was noted by the Court of Appeal that the experts had approached the breach of the CARs as though they constituted particulars of negligence so that any breach of regulation would constitute a negligent act.
The appeal judges noted the general principles of negligence set out in the Civil Liability Act. They noted that the trial judge did not define the relevant "risk of harm" which Hoeben JA in the Court of Appeal considered to be "the possibility of a helicopter coming in contact with an unmarked obstruction which was not recorded on any map and which was virtually invisible from the air".
Breaches of regulations due to unavoidable causes The trial judge had concluded that there had not been a breach of CAR or and he noted that section 30 of the Civil Aviation Act created a specific defence in relation to each regulation if the breach were established to have been due to "extreme weather conditions or other unavoidable cause".
Based on his findings as to the prevailing weather conditions, the trial judge considered that even if "extreme weather conditions" were not encountered, the breach was the result of an "other unavoidable cause".
The judge's findings were upheld. Appellant argues that breach of regulations constitutes breach of contract The appellant had also argued that there was an implied term in the business relationship between the parties that the helicopter would be handled in a manner which complied with the regulations and a breach of the regulation would constitute a breach of contract.
But in circumstances where it was not found that there was a breach of regulation, this attack on the trial judge's findings fell away.
Trial judge found to have erred in apportioning liability Finally there was some analysis of the proportionate liability issues. The Court of Appeal considered that the trial judge erred in this regard because the operator on the first day of the trial had abandoned any apportionment claim against Air Services Australia.
Accordingly, the only question which should have been considered was whether any liability should be found against Energy Australia as the entity responsible for the erection and maintenance of the power line.
The Court of Appeal found that not only did Energy Australia owe a duty to pilots such as that of the helicopter which collided with the power line, but that the duty was breached in this case.
Quantum of any liability Finally, in relation to the quantum of the claim, the real issue between the parties was the diminution in value of the repaired helicopter and the claim for lost profits. However, the findings of the Court of Appeal on the apportionment and damages were academic, as the attack by the appellant on the factual findings on liability was not made out.
Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed with costs awarded in favour of the respondent Sydney Helicopters Pty Ltd. Helicopter hits ground and catches fire after failure of drive system The decision of Justice Lyons in the Supreme Court of Queensland in the case McDermott and others v Robinson Helicopter Company  QSC 34 concerned serious injury sustained by Mr McDermott in a helicopter accident on 30 Maywhen the Robinson R22 Mariner II helicopter in which he was a passenger hit the ground and caught fire whilst it was being used to inspect fence lines on a large cattle property.
Prior to the collision with the ground, there was a large bang and a massive vibration in the helicopter. Despite attempts to keep the helicopter under control, it hit the ground and bounced forward.
Mr McDermott was trapped by his harness and unable to escape the fire immediately.
He subsequently escaped and went for help, leaving the pilot Mr Norton beside a creek. Mr Norton did not survive. Allegations of negligence The plaintiffs alleged the accident was caused by the negligence and breach of duty on the part of Robinson in failing to exercise reasonable care to ensure the Maintenance Manual provided an adequate inspection procedure to detect fatigue cracking.A Civil Action Term Paper Words | 9 Pages A Civil Action Paper In class, we have learned many important topics in the legal, .
If the negligence is deemed "willful," then you would be entitled to twice your damages, plus your costs and attorney fees. "Willful" is a legal term of art and does not mean that the dealer deliberately decided to leave the lug nut loose -- it essentially means that the dealer did something or failed to do something when the dealer knew better.
In the movie A Civil Action personal injury attorney Jan Schlitchmann used the Elements of Negligence to attempt to prove his case versus Grace Industries (Grace) and Beatrice Foods (Beatrice).
While he was unsuccessful in his bid to get a guilty verdict from a jury, the case serves as an example of how difficult it is prove negligence in a civil case. Contact a negligence lawyer to acquire legal advice and assistance. To succeed in a negligent action, the party who sustained the injury must prove the aforementioned elements in .
A Civil Action? In the American Civil Judicial system, justice is.. In, by Jonathan Harr, there are several barriers that impede this search for justice. essay writing service scam listsenior thesis horror stories.
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