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Building and Construction Failures

Case Studies


We acted for a young boy who suffered an extremely bad brain injury when he fell out of a 3rd storey bedroom window of his Department of Housing apartment onto the concrete driveway below.

The boy, who was only 3 when the accident happened, was left with a profound brain impairment which limits his ability to walk and talk and causes him difficulty with basic everyday tasks. He will require various forms of care for the rest of his life.

We sued the Department of Housing and its contractor for failing to secure and maintain the window properly. The Department denied liability.

The claim was settled for a significant sum at a settlement conference prior to being heard at court.

Despite the tragic circumstances, it was of great comfort to the little boy’s family to know that from the settlement he would be able to pay for his treatment and medical expenses for the rest of his life.


We acted for Vanessa who was injured when a heavy fence around a building site fell on her. Vanessa was pregnant and actually on her way to ante-natal classes at the hospital when the injury occurred. As a result of the incident, Vanessa suffered problems with her hips, wrist and lower back. We dealt with the builder’s insurance company and secured an out of court settlement for Vanessa.


We acted for Suzana, a young mother of two children, who sustained catastrophic spinal injuries after falling from a balcony when attending an evening birthday party at her friend’s rented unit. Proceedings were commenced against the owner of the property and the real estate agent contracted to manage the property on the owner’s behalf. We presented evidence to show that the balcony was in a state of disrepair, which was known, or ought to have been known by the owner of the premises and the real estate agent. Our expert evidence demonstrated that the fall occurred when the top balcony railing was pulled from the wall when Suzana placed her hand on the railing. Inspection of the timber balcony railing revealed several rusty nails with which the railing was affixed to the wall. At a court-ordered mediation, we were able to successfully negotiate a superb settlement.


In August 2008 Dave suffered paraplegia when he fell through the roof of a shed on a property being rented by his girlfriend. He had climbed onto the roof to clear the gutters, thus allowing the flow of rain water to the water tank located next to the shed. Unknown to him the wooden roof was rotten and couldn’t take his weight. Our client brought a claim for damages based on negligence against the landlord and real estate agent , even though our client was not a party to the rental agreement. Proceedings were commenced in the Supreme Court and were strongly contested. The case went to a Mediation before the trial date where it settled for a significant sum of money.


We acted for a self-employed truck driver whose truck rolled over at tip causing him to suffer multiple severe physical injuries. Expert evidence alleged that the roll-over occurred either due to subsidence in the area he was tipping or that the area was sloped. It was alleged that the tip owed our client a duty of care and ought to have roped off any unsafe area. Liability was hard fought by the tip but the matter resolved successfully out of court.


We acted for an invited entrant onto a block of residential units who was injured when a brick vent dislodged and fell from the exterior of the building onto his head. The building was in very poor condition, even to the casual observer. Proceedings were brought against the owners of the strata plan and were successfully settled at out of court.


I could write a book as to how the last 4 years would have been different if not for Tom and his team.
The support, assistance, advice from the first conversation till even after the settlement was second to none from the team at Stacks Goudkamp.
Four years on and after many downs, my children and I have our lives back.
We are unable to THANK YOU enough, but know that you have changed our lives for the better in so many ways since the accident.



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