• MCK Lawyers

Nguyen v Cassim [2019] NSWSC 1130

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Landmark decision by the NSW Supreme Court overturning a lower court's decision against our client awarding full costs of a replacement hire car on basis of "reasonableness of the expense".

We were instructed to appeal a decision from the Local Court that concerned damages for loss of use of a motor vehicle. Justice Basten upheld the appeal and found that when assessing damages, what is being compensated is temporary loss of use, and the value or the prestige of the damaged vehicle is not an essential characteristic of what is reasonably necessary in a replacement vehicle. Reasonableness, is an objective standard based on what need the plaintiff had for the vehicle.

“it is the usage rather than the choice of vehicle which must ultimately determine the reasonableness of the expense.

Mr Nguyen collided with Mr Cassim's BMW 535i sedan. Mr Nguyen was at fault. Mr Cassim's vehicle was off road for repairs for 143 days, during when Mr Cassim hired a Audi Q5 as a replacement car at a cost of $17,186, and demanded Mr Nguyen to pay for it. NSW Local Court awarded these damages against our client. Up on appeal to the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Basten decided a replacement car of a Toyota Corolla at a cost of $7476 would have been enough to satisfy the needs of Mr Cassim. Read the full judgement via this link

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MCK Lawyers acted for the insurer in this case. The decision was about expert evidence, particularly valuation evidence. The claim was defended on a number of grounds including a challenge to the evid