On 4 April 2014, the Queensland Court of Appeal awarded Shane Perry $280,686.70 in compensation as a result of a “loss of dependency claim”.
Sadly, Deborah Hannan lost her life as a result of a motor vehicle accident. The Court found that Deborah and Shane were defacto partners. In coming to that conclusion they considered many factors including the following:
1. Shane and Deborah had lived together in rented premised for nearly one and a half years;
2. Both were bound by the terms of the lease;
3. They planned to buy a house together when the time was right;
4. They were in no hurry to pool their resources;
5. Both contributed to maintaining the household;
6. They socialised and holidayed together and acted as a couple;
7. They were in a sexual relationship together;
The Court held that in determining whether a person is a de facto partner, the focus must be on whether, by reference to all relevant circumstances, the person and another “are living together as a couple on a genuine domestic basis but who are not married to each other or related by family”. The Court found that the evidence established that the circumstances of the couple’s de facto relationship showed a clear intention that the relationship was to be a long term and committed relationship. Accordingly the Court ruled in favour of Shane and his claim for compensation (partner of deceased compensated).
If you have any questions in relation to loss of dependency claims by yourself and/or your children, please contact McColm Matsinger Lawyers.