Bruce Cussen

Principal Lawyer

BEc LLB Accredited Spec. (Pers Inj)

I have over 25 years’ experience and specialise in the area of insurance law, litigation and dispute resolution.

I practise in and have extensive knowledge of:

  • General insurance, indemnity and policy advice;
  • Public and product liability claims;
  • Catastrophic personal injury claims;
  • Dust diseases;
  • Professional indemnity claims;
  • Personal insurance claims;
  • Business interruption and ISR (Industrial Special Risks) claims;
  • Property damage claims;
  • Aviation and marine claims;
  • Life and disability claims;
  • Insurance claims involving fraud.

I have acted for insurers, insureds, liability self insurers and corporate entities throughout Australia and internationally.

Who I work with and what I do

I have acted for:

  • A large corporate entity in a claim arising under an errors and omissions policy concerning the alleged negligent design, installation and maintenance of irrigation pipes leading to pipe failure and significant crop losses in South Australia;
  • An insurer advising on indemnity, policy coverage under an ISR policy, damage and loss in relation to a claim by a school arising from fire and acts of vandalism in circumstances where the school was no longer operating and the land on which it was situated was being offered for sale;
  • A $5 million property damage claim against pool manufacturers arising out of the blistering of pools and alleged negligent design;
  • Professional indemnity and error and omission policy claims including architects, builders, engineers, surveyors, mortgage originators/brokers and dental service providers;
  • A professional indemnity claim for a doctor in relation to alleged negligent cosmetic treatment to a patient;
  • The owner and licensee of a hotel in a catastrophic public liability claim arising from the serious assault of a patron (who suffered alleged brain damage) by a third party off the hotel premises, in which it was held by the NSW Court of Appeal that no duty of care was owed;
  • A number of defendants on instructions from an insurer in multi-million dollar proceedings involving 5 plaintiffs and 9 defendants arising from the entrapment and drowning of a child in a spa for claims for nervous shock by the deceased’s family members, a substantial claim for damages in an action per quod servitium amisit for economic loss brought by a family trust company, numerous cross claims, and claims for dual insurance;

I have also acted:

  • In the High Court of Australia matter Hollis v Vabu Pty Ltd (2001), a leading authority on the indicia for the distinction between employees and independent contractors;
  • In claims concerning catastrophic injuries sustained on construction sites involving multiple contractors and independent contractors;
  • On behalf of an instructor in relation to a personal injury claim arising out of a paragliding accident;
  • For a boat sharing company on instructions from a marine insurer in defending a personal injury claim by a guest on a vessel who had 3 fingers severed when releasing lines from a vessel.

Where I studied

I have a Bachelor of Laws and Economics and am an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.

What I like to do

I enjoy being on the water through sailing and kayaking, as well as spending time with family.

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