Smith v Pennington [2015] NSWSC 1168

Decision date: 28 August 2015
“Catchwords: TORTS – negligence – beach of duty of care – causation – where plaintiff involuntarily detained as a mentally disordered person under the Mental Health Act 2007 – s 47 Mental Health Act 2007 – where period of leave granted to plaintiff to reside with parents – where plaintiff attempted suicide while on leave – where plaintiff sustained significant and permanent injuries – regard to statutory time limit of involuntary detention under Mental Health Act – whether breach of duty of care to grant leave – decision to grant plaintiff leave not unreasonable – whether imposition of formal conditions of leave ought to have been put in place – no requirement for imposition of formal conditions – whether instructions or advice given to plaintiff’s parents prior to grant of leave – whether breach of duty of care to not provide clear instructions – s 43A Civil Liability Act 2002 – ‘special statutory power’ – whether defendant failed to exercise a special statutory power – advice not provided in exercise of power – breach of duty established – causation – application of s 5D Civil Liability Act 2002 – failure to properly advise parents did not cause plaintiff’s injuries – causation not established”
Find decision here.