St Clair v Timtalla Pty Ltd – [2011] QCA 188

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  • St Clair hired a helicopter from Timtalla Pty Ltd (Timtalla).
  • The helicopter crashed. St Clair sued in negligence (vicariously) and claiming a non-delegable duty, claiming it was non-delegable because of the “hazardous or dangerous nature” of the work being undertaken.


  • Could Timtallae held vicariously liable?
  • Was the hazardous or dangerous nature of the helicopter work a non-delegable duty?


  • The court expressed its reluctance to expand categories of non delegable duty, stating “Some caution is required because the characterisation of a duty as non-delegable involves, in effect, the imposition of strict liability upon the defendant who owes that duty”.
  • The Court concluded in rejecting St Clair’s appeal, that these “judgments serves as a distinct warning against expanding the scope of non-delegable duty or strict liability”.
  • St Clair also failed to establish why Timtalla should be held responsible.

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