High Court decision of March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Limited [1991] HCA 12. J Fleming The Law of Torts ( 3rd Ed, Law Book Co, Sydney, 1965) p 231. ON THIS DAY in 1991, the High Court of Australia delivered March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12; (1991) 171 CLR 506; (1991) 9 BCL 215 (24 April 1991). Macquarie Finance Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [2004] FCA 1170; 57 ATR 115 March v E & MH Stramare Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12; 171 CLR 506 McAndrew v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [1956] 8GTKH[ XGTUKQP The Court applied its decision in March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12; (1991) 171 CLR 506 at 515, 523 that the question of causation is one of fact to which common sense must be applied in the context of any particular case. March v E & MH Stramare Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12 at para 15 per McHugh J for a similar list. The Wagon Mound (No 1) & (No 2) – both remarkable cases factually (involving freak accidents on examining remoteness of damage and causation in negligence. And reasonably foreseeable March v E & MH Stramare Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12 And not too remote Other cases supporting Re Dawson (deceased) [1966] 2 NSWR 211 and Caffrey v Darby (1801) 6 … March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12; 171 CLR 506 Perpetual Trustee Co Ltd v Milanex Pty Ltd (In liq) [2011] NSWCA 367 Piro v W Foster & Co Ltd [1943] HCA 32; 68 CLR 313 Ruddock v Taylor [2003] NSWCA 262; 58 NSWLR 269 Sellars v Adelaide Petroleum NL [1994] HCA 4; 179 CLR 332 (1991) 171 … whether the defendant's conduct caused the injury (this is called causation) [March v Stramare (E and MH) Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12; (1991) 171 CLR 506]. March v Stramare had adopted an approach to causation that was ‘ultimately a matter of common sense’, involving an element of value judgment. It is not necessary that the breach of duty by Bluescope Steel be the sole or principal cause of the accident. By contrast, section 5D(1) seemingly did not allow for that approach. 2 Commonwealth v Amann Aviation Pty Ltd (1991) 174 CLR 64 at 80 per Mason CJ and Dawson J. March v E & MH Stramare (1991) 171 CLR 506 – examines causation of damage in negligence, holding that the ‘but for’ test of causation always required common sense in its application. March v E. & M. H. Stramare Pty Ltd & Anor (1991) 171 CLR 506; [1991] HCA 12, cited Marks v GIO Australia (1998) 196 CLR 494; [1998] HCA 69, cited Munchies Management Pty Ltd v Belperio (1988) 58 FCR 274; [1988] FCA 413, cited N E Perry Pty Ltd v Judge (2002) 84 SASR 86; [2002] SASC March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Ltd (1991) 171 CLR 506; [1991] HCA 12, cited McGhee v National Coal Board [1973] 1 WLR 1; [1972] UKHL 11, cited Medlin v State Government Insurance Commission (1995) 182 CLR 1 at 7; [1995] HCA 5, cited Roads and Traffic Authority v Royal (2008) 245 ALR 653; EH March v Stramare (E & MH) Pty Ltd:5 ‘The common law tradition is that what was the cause of a particular occurrence is a question of fact which “must be determined by applying common sense to the facts of each particular case”'. An occupier's liability Until a decision of the High Court in 1987 [ Australian Safeway Stores Pty Ltd v Zaluzna (1987) 162 CLR 479] , the law of negligence operated differently for occupiers of land. 142 The test for causation at law is the common sense test set out in March v E & MH Stramare Pty Limited [1991] HCA 12; (1991) 171 CLR 506. Hardchrome Engineering Pty Ltd v Kambrook Distributing Pty Ltd [2000] VSC 359 at [446]ff. March v E & MH Stramare Pty Ltd [1991] HCA 12 at para 5 per Mason CJ. The “but for” test was considered to be not a definitive test of causation in negligence. Commonwealth v Amann Aviation Pty Ltd (1991) 174 CLR 64 at 80 per Mason CJ and Dawson J. Tabcorp Holdings Ltd v Bowen Investments Pty Ltd (2009) 236 CLR 272.