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Title: Cole v South Tweed Heads Rugby League Club Ltd: (2004) 78 ALJR 933
Contributor(s): Lunney, M  (author)orcid ; Werren, JC  (author)
Publication Date: 2004
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: "Actually it only takes me one drink to get drunk. The trouble is I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or fourteenth."¹In Cole v South Tweed Heads Rugby League Club Ltd² the High Court of Australia was given the opportunity to define the circumstances in which a commercial provider of alcohol owed a duty to a patron to take steps to prevent the patron from injuring himself due to effects of the alcohol. Although the claim failed, many of the important questions relating to such a duty remain unanswered.The plaintiff, Rosalie Cole, had attended the defendant club on the day of her accident. The evidence suggested that she consumed about eight glasses of spumante between 9.30am and 10.30am and then shared at least another bottle of wine with her friend. From approximately 3pm she had been refused service because of her intoxication and at 6.15pm she had been asked to leave the premises of the club by the club manager. At this time she was in the company of two men who were said to be sober. The manager, when asking her to leave, offered her transport home in the guise of a courtesy bus or, when this was vehemently rejected, offered to ring a taxi for her. Both offers were refused and one of her male companions told the manager to "leave it with us and we'll look after her". The plaintiff was run down by a motor vehicle shortly after leaving the club and suffered serious injuries. She sued the driver of the motor vehicle as well as the club in negligence. The trial judge found the club liable in negligence but apportioned damages between the defendant club, the driver of the motor vehicle, and the plaintiff.The New South Wales Court of Appeal (Heydon, Santow JJA, Ipp AJA) allowed an appeal by the club, rejecting the finding that the club owed the plaintiff a duty of care to protect her against a risk of physical injury resulting from her behaviour in consequence of her excessive consumption of alcohol.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: University of New England Law Journal, 1(2), p. 239-247
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
ISSN: 1449-2199
Field of Research (FOR): 180126 Tort Law
HERDC Category Description: C5 Other Refereed Contribution to a Scholarly Journal
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