High Court of Australia – 28 October 1981
Shaddock wanted to purchase property located in the area governed by the council. Shaddock’s solicitor both orally and by a written standard form, asked the council whether the property was the subject of any proposals to widen roads.
The council carelessly said there were no proposals when in fact there were such proposals. The value of the property was reduced by the proposal.
The appellants claimed that they had sustained loss by reason of their reliance on erroneous information supplied to them innocently but negligently by the respondent. The trial judge found that the respondent had been careless but that it owed no relevant duty of care to the appellants. This decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeal on appeal to the High Court.
The court had to decide the circumstances in which a local government body could be held liable for information it supplied to the general public.…