Pyropanel Developments Pty Limited and Ausco Firestop Pty Limited v Adelaide Fire Doors Pty Limited, Allied Fire Protection Systems (Australia) Pty Limited, Gary Somerville, Jane Adele Robertson and Paul Robertson [1994] FCA 1483

INTRODUCTION LINDGREN J There is before me a motion brought on notice of motion dated 1 November 1994 by the respondents seeking orders that the applicants "adequately respond to the respondents' request for further and better particulars of the amended statement of claim". The amended statement of claim was filed on 22 August 1994. Shortly, it alleges that the second respondent to which I may refer as "Allied" is a distributor in Australia of products manufactured by the first respondent to which I may refer as "Adelaide." It alleges that the third respondent to whom I may refer as "Somerville" is an employed officer of Allied. It is alleged that the fourth and fifth respondents to whom I may refer as "Mr and Mrs Robertson" are directors of Allied. Rather similarly on the other side of the record, it is alleged that the second applicant to which I may refer as "Ausco" is the distributor of goods manufactured by the first applicant, to which I may refer as "Pyropanel". It is alleged in the amended statement of claim that certain representations have been made by one or other of the respondents, which reflect adversely on a particular product of Pyropanel, distributed by Ausco, namely "Pyrosleave firestop collar manufactured by (Pyropanel) and supplied by (Ausco)" (called in the amended statement of claim and in these Reasons, "the Product"). The respondents requested particulars of the amended statement of claim by a document entitled "Request for Particulars of Amended Statement of Claim" dated 1 September 1994. That request was by the respondents' solicitors Triscott and Associates ("Triscotts"), and was responded to by a letter dated, 16 September 1994 by Palombi Hazan the solicitors for the applicants. Not being satisfied with the particulars then furnished, Triscotts wrote to Palombi Hazan on 23 September 1994, asserting the inadequacy of the particulars and in some instances requesting particulars which arose out of the particulars supplied in the first instance. This prompted a reply dated 6 October 1994 by Palombi Hazan, which, in general terms, at least so far as is relevant to today, joined issue as to the adequacy of the particulars previously supplied. That is not an entirely adequate account of the letter dated 6 October 1994, since it did supply some further particulars. But in general terms, since 6 October 1994 the parties have been at issue over the question of the particulars to be supplied.
  1. By a letter dated, 12 October 1994, Triscotts attempted to summarise the issues between the parties. There followed correspondence between the respective solicitors which was in a number of instances touched with acerbity and it is unfortunate that the matter has not been able to be resolved without a hearing. It is desirable that I deliver a judgment on the motion without further delay, even though this will certainly mean that these reasons will not be as elaborate or as elegantly expressed as they would have been if I had reserved. As I understand it, a solicitor and junior counsel from Queensland are present and have attended for the purpose of the hearing and it is desirable in everyone's interest that this judgment be given so that it can be seen immediately what particulars, if any, should still be supplied.
  2. Ms Skennar, junior counsel for the respondents, prepared a summary document which has been of use in noting what particulars are outstanding and the ways in which the requests for the various particulars have been dealt with. I will call this "the Composite Document". It will be convenient if I deal in sequence with the respective paragraphs of the amended statement of claim.
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