Tenant sues over Hot Water Service

From: Duncan M


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This just appeared on the ABC New site.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/justin/nat/newsnat-19feb2002-66.htm


"
Woman compensated for shower fall caused by hot water
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A woman who suffered spinal injuries after falling in the shower of her
rented house, is to receive more than $500,000 in compensation.

The Court of Appeal heard Sydney woman Vicki Watson was taking a shower in
1996, when the water temperature jumped 10 degrees, causing her to fall and
fracture bones in her spine.

The court was told Mrs Watson and her husband had complained several times
about the hot water service.

However, the home's owner, the New South Wales Housing Corporation, had
failed to fix the problem.

The corporation opposed her claim for compensation, but lost the case in the
Supreme Court.

It took the matter to the Court of Appeal, which today reduced Mrs Watson's
pay out by $100,000 to $530,000."

Regards,

Duncan.

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<TITLE>Tenant sues over Hot Water Service</TITLE>



This just appeared on the ABC New site.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/justin/nat/newsnat-19feb200=2-66.htm



"
Woman compensated for shower fall caused by hot =water
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A woman who suffered spinal injuries after falling =in the shower of her rented house, is to receive more than $500,000 in =compensation.

The Court of Appeal heard Sydney woman Vicki Watson =was taking a shower in 1996, when the water temperature jumped 10 =degrees, causing her to fall and fracture bones in her spine. =

The court was told Mrs Watson and her husband had =complained several times about the hot water service.


However, the home's owner, the New South Wales =Housing Corporation, had failed to fix the problem.


The corporation opposed her claim for compensation, =but lost the case in the Supreme Court.


It took the matter to the Court of Appeal, which =today reduced Mrs Watson's pay out by $100,000 to =$530,000."


Regards,


Duncan.




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Reply: 1
From: G V


Hi,

I have also faced such instances where hot water suddenly rises in temperature although no one at home is using water at that time. I would be interested in knowing the reasons for that.does the usage of water by neighbours has any impact?
 
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Reply: 1.1
From: Dale Gatherum-Goss


Hi

I guess there is a couple of lessons to learn from this.

Document all issues with tenants and deal with complaints promptly.

Have comprehensive insurance to cover all such claims.

Do not have your assets at risk of attack like this. A complete family trust would avoid the risk and problems if you so chose to do so.

Have fun!

Dale
 
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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Kristine .


Just a passing thought, but where is the sympathy for the lady who has suffered a rather horrible injury because of a faulty appliance?

Responsible landlording does not mean 'cut and run', but rather make sure that what you are offering is in safe working order and yes, have adequate insurance, so that if the worst happens, there are funds available to 'make good', or if that is not possible because of permanent injury, at least that your tenant can receive appropriate treatment.

Just my old fashioned way of looking at things.

Kristine
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1
From: Kevin Forster



I think that lawyers pick their marks fairly carefully. Say it happened to a private owner rather than a government department.

The plaintiff uses a "no win no fee" firm and gets a victory.

The owner mortgaged to the hilt and the insurance company weasels its way out on a clause that the owner knew about the problem and didn't rectify it.

The owner sells up, pays off the mortgages, has nothing left over but still has $500,000 court judgement hanging over their head so (as the best of legal profession do) goes into bankruptcy.

The plaintiff gets nothing but because they won they now have $30,000 of legal bills.

The net result is that the plaintiff is worse off than if the case had never been contested or had lost.

If the plaintiff can't afford to pay the legal bills so they go into bankruptcy. No one wins.
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1
From: Mark Laszczuk


Firstly, I'd like to mention that it is indeed unfortunate what happened to this woman. An excellent lesson for those of us that are current and future landlords, to take care of our tenants, not only to prevent getting sued, but because it's our responsibility to do so.
Second, this is a perfect example of a warning for those of you who don't believe in asset protection. The amount of ads from lawyers (both in print and on t.v.) stating that they will help you with lawsuits has increased from about zero two years ago to commonplace these days. If you haven't seen these ads at least a few times, you must be blind. So, what do I think is happening? We're going down the path of the U.S. where everyone sues everyone else for the tiniest thing, even when it's their fault. How long until we see stories in the paper about an little old lady suing Macca's for a million bucks cause she spilt coffee on herself? (Not that I'm upset about Mc Destruction getting sued...) Or burglars suing house owners because they injured themselves while trying to nab stuff. These stories are true, people and the plaintiffs WON these cases. Sad but true. Me? My assests are all gonna be locked away where no one can get them, thank you very much. I like sleeping at night.

Mark
'no hat, some cattle'
 
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Reply: 1.1.1.1.1.1
From: Michael G


Mark,

I think when we leave school and get a job we will all have the following insurances;

- green slip (for those with cars)
- comprehensive (for those with nice cars)
- income protection (for those not on the dole)
- building (for those with property)
- contents (for those with doodads)
- personal (for those who carry around their doodads)
- life (for those with family)
- public liability (for anyone who dares to do anything with their life).

Michael G
 
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