Patrick Bracher (ZA)

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Provincial MEC not liable for child injured by swing in the private school playground – delictual liability for breach of statute

The Supreme Court of Appeal found that the Provincial MEC for Social Development was not liable for the injury of a child in the playground of a nursery school operated by an NGO in the province. The school was treated as if registered under the Child Care Act 1983 because the incident occurred in 2008 … Continue reading

Scope of right of pre-emption

Where a person is granted a right of pre-emption or right of first refusal and the grantor breaches the right (by selling or otherwise granting it to a third party), the so-called Oryx mechanism comes into place and the holder of the right steps into the shoes of the person to whom the right was … Continue reading

Hot tub expert evidence catching on

Evidence of experts in dispute hearings can be dealt with efficiently by using the ‘hot tub’ method to deal with disputes issue-by-issue rather than expert-by-expert: The parties decide between them what remaining issues have to be resolved by expert evidence and the list is given to the experts to deal with. The experts for all … Continue reading

Court applies ‘arising out of the operations’ exclusion in liability policy (US)

A Texas federal judge ruled that the insurer did not have to defend a design and construction consultant against the employer’s liability claim for a defective oil well because cover was excluded for property damage to ‘that particular part of real property on which any contractor working directly or indirectly on your behalf are performing … Continue reading

Arbitration clauses usually do not survive termination of contract for fraud

An arbitration or similar adjudication clause, contained in an agreement that is found to have been induced by fraud, does not survive the avoidance of the agreement. That would be offensive to justice. The position can only change if the parties specifically make provision in their contract for a dispute regarding fraud, misrepresentation or concealment … Continue reading

Cyber risk cover – the pandemic lesson

One lesson for insurers from the COVID-19 pandemic is that carefully considered wording for potentially massive losses is essential. Cyber risk can lead to such losses. Here are links to some of the articles we have written on cyber risk to remind you: Cyber risk warnings for insurers Cyber cover must be specifically provided or … Continue reading

Obligations of independent schools before expelling a pupil

On 17 June 2020 the Constitutional Court handed down a landmark judgment which pronounced on a child’s own right to take part in due process or hearings concerning the termination of the contract between independent schools and their parents. The judgment concerns the constitutionality of a decision by an independent school to expel two scholars … Continue reading

The difference between ‘significant’ and ‘substantial’

In April 2020 the UK Supreme Court had reason to discuss the difference between ‘significant’ and ‘substantial’ in the context of what is a ‘significant reduction in life expectancy’. The court said that ‘like the skin of a chameleon, the adjective takes a different colour so as to suit a different context’. The word ‘significant’ … Continue reading

Insurance renewal not concluded by emails in the absence of clear acceptance (Aus)

When a fire and other perils policy came up for renewal on 24 August 2018, the insurer and the insured’s broker exchanged emails regarding renewal terms and hold-covered arrangements. The Victoria Supreme Court in Australia found that cover had not been renewed nor extended because the insured had not unequivocally accepted the renewal terms nor … Continue reading

1000 strong: brush up on your legal knowledge

Our archive now contains over one thousand accessible, searchable blog posts, covering a wide range of topics. Here are some you may have missed – read them to quickly brush up on your legal knowledge: Corporate law How to establish a business in South Africa Blockchain, syndicated lending and secondary market trades 10 things to … Continue reading

DUI proved despite no conclusive blood test

The motor policy considered in Bantho v Alexander Forbes Insurance Co Ltd excluded an indemnity if the accident occurred while the driver was driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or while the level of alcohol in the bloodstream exceeded the statutory limit. The court applied the exclusion despite a dispute about the accuracy of … Continue reading

Interdict pending defamation action seldom granted

In a defamation dispute between two politicians (the former and the subsequent mayor of Johannesburg) the incumbent mayor sued for defamation damages for remarks about him. At the same time he applied for a court interdict ordering the respondent to retract the offending remarks, to refrain from repeating them, and to issue an unconditional apology … Continue reading

Evidence to establish negligence of surgeon

The case of Felicia Meyers v MEC, Department of Health, Eastern Cape deals with the evidence required to give rise to an inference of negligence on the part of an operating surgeon as to whether the injury caused in the course of the operation resulted from negligence (the failure to apply the professional skill and … Continue reading

First all-Skype trial in the UK

The Law Society Gazette (UK) reports that the UK has had its first Skype trial which could be another way to ensure court business continues during adverse circumstances (and even generally). It was a three day hearing where the judge, seven lawyers, eleven witnesses, three experts and two journalists joined the hearing online through Skype … Continue reading

Effect of settlement agreement

Ten years after the 2010 World Cup the Supreme Court of Appeal has given judgment in a dispute between the South African Football Association and a travel business relating to travel arrangements for the competition. The parties had a settlement agreement which was in ‘full and final settlement’ of the dispute relating to whether SAFA … Continue reading

Club fees lawful under National Credit Act

The respondent furniture retailer in The National Credit Regulator v Lewis Stores (Pty) Ltd offered club membership to its customers including its credit agreement customers which afforded certain benefits to the club members including the chance to win attractive prizes. Club membership is open to any person whether a credit customer or not, and the … Continue reading
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