March v Stramare (E & M H) Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12

ON 24 APRIL 1991, the High Court of Australia delivered March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12; (1991) 171 CLR 506; (1991) 9 BCL 215 (24 April 1991).

Negligence – Causation – Duty of care – Injury reasonably foreseeable – Successive negligent acts by different persons – Whether first negligent actor exonerated by intervening negligent act – Apportionment of liability – Wrongs Act 1936 (S.A.), s. 27a(3).

The “but for” test was considered to be not a definitive test of causation in negligence.  Causation is a question of fact to be determined with reference to common sense and experience.

The “but for” test has since been revived by the operation of the Civil Liability Acts: see for instance Adeels Palace Pty Ltd v Moubarak; Adeels Palace Pty Ltd v Bou Najem [2009] HCA 48 (10 November 2009).



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