Mulligan v Coffs Harbour City Council (2005) HCA 63

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  • Mulligan was swimming in Coffs Harbor when he performed a dive several times. On the last occasion, he hit a sand dune and became a paraplegic.
  • There were no signs warning of the uneven bed as a result of the sand dunes in the area
  • Was it negligent on the part of the Coffs Harbour council?
  • Although the risk was foreseeable, it was outside the scope of the duty of care to put up signs
  • Although tragic, the Court accepted that sometimes people are ‘authors of their own misfortune’
  • It was distinguished from Rottnest Island Authority because in Mulligan’s case, the risk was not as obvious.

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