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Posted by W von Papinešu on September 16, 2002 at 14:00:33:
THE AUSTRALIAN (Sydney) 16 September 02 Insurance situation 'farcical'
The operator of a seaside holiday farm had to pay out nearly $5,000 in damages after a guest's dog was bitten by a snake in the nearby sand dunes, Federal Parliament has been told.
The case against Joy Evans, who runs the Johanna Seaside Farm Cottages on Victoria's Great Ocean Road, was brought on the claim that she had lacked a duty of care in failing to warn that snakes were in the area.
"This example clearly demonstrates the stupidity of the current public liability insurance situation," Ms Evans' local MP, Stewart MacArthur (LP, Vic), said.
Mr MacArthur said Ms Evans was an outstanding tourism operator.
He said the large dog dug out a snake from under a tree in the sand dunes and was bitten.
"Ironically the dog had received a snake bite nine months previously in Adelaide," he said.
"The dog recovered and, following intense veterinary skill, the guests and dog returned to Adelaide.
"However, Joy Evans was amazed to receive a claim from a plaintiff lawyer for $4,900, being a claim that she lacked a duty of care in warning that snakes were in the area."
Mr MacArthur said while Ms Evans was adamant against payment of the claim, her company took the least line of resistance and paid the claim.