Told Nervous Shock: Has the Pendulum Swung in Favour of Recovery by Television Viewers?

Ramanan Rajendran


‘Nervous shock’ was recognised as a recoverable form of injury in the early 1900s. Only recently however this form of injury has received extended coverage in the High Court of Australia and the legislature. Unfortunately, there are few clear guidelines, especially from the High Court judgments. This article discusses the implication of the recent decisions of Tame and Annetts and Gifford, as well as the history of ‘nervous shock’ and statutory developments. It seeks to clarify the approach of the High Court and the legislature in the area of nervous shock, especially as it relates to recovery for ‘nervous shock’ by viewers of distressing events on television.

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