Bailey v NSW Medical Defence Union Ltd (1995) 184 CLR 399

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Facts

  • Doctors had become members of the Medical Defence Union which helped in meeting costs of litigation brought against them.
  • When Dr Bailey died, the assistance ceased and action was brought against his estate for $500,000.

Held

  • The High Court found that the company could not unilaterally alter the terms of its constitution and thereby avoid an obligation that it had to a member under the statutory contract.
  • Bailey’s estate could access the fund in respect of action that was taken against the former member, Dr Bailey.
  • A member can imply a separate “special contract” based on the terms of the constitution.

Full Text

The full text is available here: http://eresources.hcourt.gov.au/showbyHandle/1/9856


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