The High Court of Australia unanimously allowed an appeal from the New South Wales Court of Appeal, holding that damages for disappointment and distress for breach of a holiday cruise tour contract were not precluded as damages for “personal injury” by s 16(1) of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) (‘CLA’).
Mr Moore and his wife booked a cruise of grand waterways of Europe with Scenic Tours Pty Ltd (‘Scenic’). The cruise was to be on a luxury ship called the Scenic Jewel, and suited the Moores because Mr Moore had undergone spinal surgery and needed to spend significant time sitting down. He chose this tour because he did not want to have to keep packing and unpacking. He gave evidence that he booked the tour 12 months in advance, and used his ‘life’s savings’ to pay for it. The tour commenced in Paris on 31 May 2013, but the river cruise portion along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers was scheduled to depart from Amsterdam on 3 June 2013, and to conclude two weeks later in Budapest. However, the Rhine and Main rivers flooded, and the Moores only had three days of cruising. They spent ten days on a bus, and had to change ship at least twice. The cruise fell far short of the Moores’ expectations.
The Moores were lead plaintiffs in representative proceedings for approximately 1,500 disappointed plaintiffs who had booked cruises with Scenic that had been scheduled to depart between 19 May 2013 and 12 June 2013, and had been affected by flooding. Continue reading