Santos & Associates and others v Gillard Turner O’Brien and others

Santos & Associates and others v Gillard Turner O’Brien and others

Supreme Court of Western Australia

September 26


AN application by Santos & Associates and others to file an amended statement of claim in its Supreme Court of Western Australia litigation against Gillard Turner & O’Brien has been partly allowed.

The amended claim has been put up by Santos & Associates, Glowtime Pty Ltd and Riverview Heights Pty Ltd against GTO and Ron Norbert Gajewski.

Glowtime is subject to a deed of company arrangement and Riverview is in liquidation.

The court action relates to an investment in Riverview which, as trustee of the Hospitality Investment Unit Trust acquired the Swanbourne Hotel from Chereeba.

The plaintiffs claim they were misled over an investment in the HIU Trust.

Master Newnes allowed the plaintiffs to change some of their statement of claim but also allowed objections from the defendants to remove four paragraphs from the statement.

According to statement of claim Mr Gajewski was from 1993 until June 5 1996 a director of Coropean Pty Ltd and until June 17 1997 a 50 per cent shareholder in Coropean.

Coropean held units in the HIU Trust.

From December 5 1987 until March 30 1993 he was also a 25 per cent shareholder in Chereeba.

GTO provided, until the second half of 1997, accounting services including the preparation and lodgement of financial statements, annual returns and tax returns to both Coropean and Riverview.

Mr Gajewski as a director of and then as a consultant to GTO was in charge of the provision of such services to Riverview.

The statement of claim says that balance sheet embodied representations that the trust funds had accumulated income of about $384,004; total assets worth about $432,008; total liabilities of about $48,004; and net assets of about $384,004.

It also claims the figures show good-will of the business was worth $319,294.

The plaintiffs claim that GTO and Mr Gajewski acted negligently because of the representations made by Riverview’s balance sheet and, as a result, Santos has suffered damages of $100,000 for an investment in100,000 HIU Trust units of little value.

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