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Case Study Insurance Dispute and Litigation Following Crane Collapse

The case of Matton Developments Pty Ltd v CGU Insurance Limited concerned whether CGU was required to indemnify Matton Developments under an insurance policy for extensive damage caused to a crane following its collapse on a work site in February 2008.

The issue at hand was whether the crane collapse was an accident, with the experienced crane operator taking a deliberate risk.

The case attracted national attention after the Supreme Court of Queensland initially found against Matton, and again when the Queensland Court of Appeal overturned that decision, requiring CGU Insurance to indemnify Matton Developments under its insurance policy. The successful appeal for Redchip’s client brought wider implications regarding conduct that may be deemed as “accidental, sudden and unforeseen” under an insurance policy.

Redchip Director, Robert Champney, worked closely with Mark Kenward, a Director of Matton Developments, and his family throughout the years of court action. He was the first lawyer to head to one of Mark’s building sites to see for himself a crane in action and better understand the practical workings of the equipment, a crane site and, in turn, build a full picture of Matton Developments and CGU’s case.

Mark explained: “I have had to learn more about the law in the last ten years than I ever wanted to know, and Robert was key to explaining it to us. He took the time to fully understand our business and the circumstances under which cranes on our projects operate, which was key to understanding our case in this litigation. Robert listened to what we had to say, and then broke his advice down into easily relatable pieces rather than throwing legal jargon at us”.


Represented by:

Robert Champney