CitiPower Pty V McLeery

In 2009 there was a house fire in Camberwell. An overhead electrical cable was found to have come loose and fortunately no-one was hurt while the fire went through the home. The owners of the house obtained a payout through their home insurer, who then sued CitiPower to recover the $500,000 it had paid out.

The insurer claimed CitiPower had been negligent because its cable had deteriorated over time and failed as a result. Justin acted for CitiPower in the trial. CitiPower’s position was that if a person looked carefully at the damaged cable at the point where it broke, it revealed a cone-cup shape which indicated that it had to have been forcefully pulled from its position, perhaps by an oversize truck. It did not show signs of having slowly deteriorated over time.

Justin cross-examined the insurer’s expert witness, and after that, the insurer’s claim fell apart. The matter resolved where the insurer received no payment at all from CitiPower.

Further, the insurer then proceeded to sue its own expert witness who had failed so miserably in the witness box. In that subsequent claim, which resolved, the expert witness briefed Justin to represent him as well.