Cop sues for “Psychiatric Injury” caused by him having to face Police Integrity Commission…. and loses

Friday , 10, June 2016 Leave a comment

CASE : Carangelo v State of New South Wales [2016] NSWCA 126 


A police officer sued the Police Commissioner and the New South Wales Government for vicarious liability,  alleging negligence and breach of duty of care for failure of the Commissioner of Police to take reasonable precautions against the officer’s risk of suffering psychiatric injury when facing the Police Integrity Commission.

The Court was asked to decide on appeal  whether the primary judge erred in applying s 5D of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) in the TORT of negligence.  Former Police Officer Carangelo argued that there was factual causation using the “but for” test.    Meaning BUT FOR his employment as a police officer he would not have suffered psychiatric injury.

The New South Wales Court of appeals disagreed with him and said  causation was not applicable in this case.  Causation must be established by reference to s 5D(2) as an “exceptional case” and there was nothing exceptional in the factual circumstances of his case.



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