Samantha Quinney Takes Part in RACQs Careflight HUET Demonstration

Samantha QuinneyA couple of weeks ago, Lawyer Samantha Quinney who is also the President Elect of the Brisbane Airport Rotary Club, volunteered to take part in the Helicopter Underwater Escape Training demonstration at RACQ Careflight’s training centre at Aviation Australia.

Sam and a few other volunteers went through a pre-briefing involving the intended procedures, which were to include a simple submersion in the helicopter simulator, a submersion with a complete inversion of the simulator, and a submersion whilst blindfolded.

“The whole experience was extremely exhilarating and it was not until you are actually inside the helicopter, being submersed, holding your breath and then turning upside down, do you realise and appreciate the invaluable training provided by the RACQ Careflight team” said Sam.

“The procedure to open the door and get of your seat becomes an automatic process. I would certainly volunteer to do it again. I’m so proud that our Rotary club can support such a great cause.”

Raising our Cups for Cancer

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea in Support of the Cancer Council

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Law firm locks in Biggest Morning Tea

With every clink of the coffee cup, the staff at Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers are dipping into their pockets to help cure cancer.

The Birtinya-based firm will be among thousands of groups, friends, offices and schools taking part in Cancer Council Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea today.

The annual event encourages people to get together and raise a cup for a good cause.

Schultz Toomey O’Brien Birtinya marketing officer said the time-out for a good cuppa and slice of cake was much more than just a chance for her colleagues to have a break.

The cause is very close to her heart, as her mother continues to undergo treatment for melanoma cancer.

“So many people have been touched by cancer and hosting a morning tea is such an easy and fun way to bring people together while raising funds,” Mrs McKenna said.

“Mum’s diagnosis about three years ago has definitely brought our family together but has also changed a lot of things.”

“Mum has stopped working and dad has too to be her carer.”

“This event is just a small way of giving back to help find a cure for cancer.”

This year more than 6700 tea hosts around Queensland will gather in living rooms, community centres, businesses and schools to celebrate Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea to raise $2.5 million dollars for cancer research, education programs and patient support services.

It is not too late to host your own throughout May and June. Visit www.biggestmorningtea.com.au

If you would like to donate to help us reach our fundraising goal please visit http://qld.cancercouncilfundraising.org.au/stolaw

University of the Sunshine Coast – Sponsorship

On Tuesday 8th April, the University of the Sunshine Coast held their annual Arts and Business Awards Ceremony. Each year we (STOLAW) sponsor the awards by offering a prize/s to outstanding students. This year the prize went to ‘Blake Crook’, who was the highest achieving student in course ACC220 Law of Business Associations. Congratulations Blake!

(Image provided by USC: Mr Paul Kusy of STOLAW and Blake Crook)

USC

Media Release – ACT’s Same-Sex Marriage Legislation Overturned by the High Court

Same-Sex MarriageLess than a week after the gay marriage laws came into effect in the ACT and after almost 30 couples have married in Canberra since Saturday, the High Court of Australia has handed down its decision to overturn the ACT’s same-sex marriage legislation.

The decision was made after the court unanimously ruled that the ACT’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 could not operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act 1961.

Earlier this week, ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said “we only introduced our bill when the federal parliament failed to end discrimination several months ago.”

Those who were married within the five day window, before this ruling, have now had their marriages declared invalid.

Leisa Toomey, Partner at Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers has said “whilst the outcome was predictable this is clearly an issue that is not going to go away and so there should be more attention paid to it at a Federal level to gauge and act on the wishes of the community on this very sensitive topic.”

Although, the decision has been overturned, it doesn’t look like it will be the end, just a “temporary defeat” as stated by Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome.

Congratulations Shane Crew

Congratulations Shane CrewSchultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers would like to congratulate Partner, Shane Crew on attaining his qualification as an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries Law. Shane is a key member of the Litigation team and services both personal and commercial litigation clients.

Shane said “attaining the qualification as an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries Law was an arduous process. I am equal parts relieved and proud of the outcome.”

“The Accreditation is an acknowledgement of my expertise in Personal Injuries Law which area of law has been my career passion.”

Shane has been with the firm for 12 years and was previously based in our Sunshine Coast office. He now leads our North Brisbane office located at North Lakes, where he is actively involved in the community.

Shane is on the committee for the North Lakes Chamber of Commerce and is also a past President of the Sunshine Coast Law Association.

Media Release

Tourist wins against car hire company in a landmark case

Friday 16 November 2012

In a decision that is going to have significant ramifications for the car hire industry in Australia, a Brisbane Magistrate has found that East Coast Car Rentals has not only acted unconscionably  in providing worthless insurance to one of its customers, but has also engaged in false and misleading conduct in representing that it offered insurance of great value.  East Coast Car Rentals had refused to pay a claim by a New Zealand tourist who was involved in an accident in Brisbane in 2010 when he inadvertently went through a red light and caused almost $50,000.00 damage to a Mercedes, as well as damaging the hire car.

Mr Bruce Lee and his wife had read on East Coast’s website that ‘the majority of other car rental companies have little or no cover for single vehicle accidents, hail or storm damage or other incidentals which are easily assumed to be covered.  We have the most comprehensive and best value covers available’.  Although the car hire cost only $24.00 per day, the insurance component taken out by Mr and Mrs Lee was $21.00 per day and they assumed that they had bought comprehensive insurance for the duration of the hire.

After Mr Lee found himself in unfamiliar territory in the Brisbane CBD in peak hour traffic and he inadvertently caused an accident, East Coast relied on the fine print of the back of their rental agreement which said that the company would not grant cover if the customer drove without due care or attention or failed to comply with local traffic rules.

Subsequently Mr Lee was sued for the damages to the hire car by East Coast Car Rentals and also by RACQ for the damage to the Mercedes Benz. Both matters were heard together before Magistrate Cull in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 13 November 2012.

When Judgment was handed down on Wednesday, 14 November 2012, Mr Lee was successful in his counter claim against East Coast Car Rentals, and whilst RACQ were successful in their claim against Mr Lee, Magistrate Cull ordered that Mr Lee be indemnified by East Coast Car Rentals.  Magistrate Cull said “It is my view that the offer of the almost worthless damage waiver as comprehensive and best value cover was unconscionable, as well as being false and misleading”.

“East Coast conducts a hire car business.  It has chosen to offer insurance to its customers.  It should honour that offer”.  When making her decision Magistrate Cull stated, “I conclude that in each claim, East Coast is liable to pay for the damage to the cars.”

Mr Lee’s lawyer Mr Travis Schultz from Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers said, “This is a great result not only for Mr Lee, but for any person who hires a car and takes out the expensive insurance generally offered by hire car companies.  People like Mr Lee take out insurance believing they are doing the prudent and sensible thing and with the understanding that should an accident occur they will be covered.”

“This Judgment should go a long way to bringing about changes to the practices of car rental companies who charge exorbitant prices for insurance which actually provide little or no cover at all.  Car rental consumers are the winners from this significant decision and we can only hope that the industry realises that consumer protection legislation needs to be taken seriously”, Mr Schultz said.

East Coast Car Rentals was also ordered to pay Mr Lee’s costs.

End

Media enquiries please contact:

Travis Schultz, Managing Partner at tschultz@stolaw.com.au

Work: 07 5413 8925 Mobile: 0419 441 977

Jennifer Swaine, Marketing Manager at jswaine@stolaw.com.au

Work: 07 5413 8908 Mobile 0438 952 830