Love's Labour's Cost: The High Court Decision in Van Gervan vs. Fenton
Torts Law Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 122-136, 1993
16 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2008
Date Written: August, 21 2008
Australian courts have been slow to recognise the gendered nature of aspects of the award of damages for personal injury. The decision of the High Court in Griffiths v. Kerkemeyer made it clear for the first time that damages could be recovered for the costs of care even where such care was provided 'gratuitously'. In Van Gervan v. Fenton, a majority of the High Court reaffirmed the broad principles established in that earlier case. This discussion examines the High Court decision in Van Gervan v. Fenton and scrutinises some of the gendered assumptions that emerge about women and their caring work. It is suggested that assumptions of this nature underlie judicial and legislative decision making in this context and result in failure to value caring work property in the context of damages assessment.
Keywords: tort law, personal injury, gender, damages assessment, caring work, women's work
JEL Classification: J16, J28, J30, J70, K10, K13, K30, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation