Councils, like all individuals and corporations owe a duty of care to all people who are regarded by the law as being their “neighbour”. The law regards any person who may be adversely affected by the acts or omissions of a council as being the council’s “neighbour”.
There are two common circumstance in which councils are sued by an individual these being
- a workplace situation - such as where an employee of Council is injured at work. Should this occur the employee will sue Council but will in reality be suing WorkCover Queensland the Queensland government statutory insurer who ensures all Queensland employers;
- a public liability situation - where a member of the public suffers an injury as a result of a failure on behalf the Council to keep a facility or asset properly maintained, safe or without appropriate warnings.
All councils in Queensland carry public liability insurance. In this regard similar to a work place situation by suing a council for public liability injured person in reality is suing their insurer. There are no specific requirements or steps necessary to suing a council so for the completion of the relevant pre-action processes depending upon the nature of the injury.