ON 6 AUGUST 2014, the NSW Court of Appeal delivered Leach v The Nominal Defendant (QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd)  NSWCA 257.
The appellant brought proceedings in the NSW District Court seeking damages for gunshot injuries received when his vehicle collided with an unidentified vehicle and shots were fired from that vehicle before it was driven away.
Kearns DCJ of the District Court entered a verdict for the respondent, finding that the appellant’s injuries were not caused by the fault of a driver of a motor vehicle in the use or operation of a motor vehicle within the meaning of s3A of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW).
The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against the District Court decision, concluding that although the injuries were the fault of the driver of the unidentified vehicle, and although the injuries were received in the use or operation of a motor vehicle, the proximate cause of the appellants injuries was the gunfire as opposed to the driving of the unidentified vehicle.
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