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Embarrassing, pleading

Cameron v Qantas Airways Ltd and Anor [2010] NSWSC 899. Schmidt J. 13.08.10

[18] Ms Cameron's current pleadings are embarrassing, in the sense that is discussed in the authorities, namely that they are unintelligible, imprecise and ambiguous, depriving the defendants of a proper opportunity of understanding what actual allegations comprise the substance of her claims.

They do not provide material facts to support the serious allegations made: see Kirby v Sanderson Motors Pty Limited [2002] NSWCA 44; 54 NSWLR 135.

In Gunns Limited v Marr [2005] VSC 251, Bongiorno J observed that:

[57] It is not the function of the Court to draw or settle aparty's pleading. The Court is confined to the function of ensuring that pleadings are within the rules and fulfil the functions for which they exist.

In particular, it must ensure that one party is not placed at a disadvantage by the failure of another to provide a proper, coherent, and intelligible statement of its case.

In this case, it would be unfair to the defendants to require them to plead to this amended statement of claim.

It is embarrassing within the meaning of RSC r.23.02.

Not only must the pleading inform the defendants of the case they must meet now, but it must clearly set out the facts which the plaintiffs must assert to make good their claim with sufficient particularity to enable any eventual trial to be conducted fairly to all parties.

Vague allegations on very significant matters may conceal claims which are merely speculative. If this be not the case, the plaintiffs must put their allegations clearly.

Finally, the trial judge must, in due course, have some firm basis for making rulings on relevance. This is a very substantial set of claims and any trial will be a very complex one. The Court must ensure that the only claims which go to trial are those which the plaintiffs are able to set out in a coherent and detailed form."

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