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Abuse: Damages assessment (ACT). – LexBlog


ND v AB (No 3) [2022] ACTSC 197 (on AUSTLII).

The defendant, an uncle of the plaintiff, had been convicted on one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person in relation to ND, contrary to s 56 of the Crimes Act 1900 (ACT): R v KC [2020] ACTSC 94.

The plaintiff brought a claim against the defendant in assault, battery and negligence and claimed past and future economic loss, out-of-pocket expenses, past and future domestic assistance and aggravated damages.

Default judgment was entered in favour of the plaintiff after the defendant filed no defence to the proceedings: ND v AB (No 2) [2022] ACTSC 100. By failing to enter a defence, the defendant was taken to have admitted the facts pleaded in the Statement of Claim.

General damages were assessed at $240,000 including aggravated damages. In relation to aggravated damages the Court said at [80]:

In this case, it is not necessary to draw the distinction between general damages and aggravated damages. The consequences of the defendant’s conduct in carrying out the abuse in circumstances of his relationship with the plaintiff, his instructions to keep it secret and the ultimate necessity for a criminal trial and its consequences for the plaintiff are all matters which I have taken into account in assessing general damages as they form part of the psychological consequences of the abuse. Had it been necessary to do so, I would have made an award of general damages and separately of aggravated damages which in aggregate gave the same result.

An award was also made for economic loss and for domestic care.

[BillMaddensWordpress #2016]


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