NSW Privacy Act Breached by School Teacher?

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nose

Well-Known Member
27 November 2015
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I am pursuing a refund for a horse under Australian Consumer Law. At one stage, a school teacher rode the horse in question and has since provided to the other party a witness statement about my daughter (a pupil at her school, whom she rode the horse for whilst she was out injured) and her horse when she stepped in an rode him for us in preparation for a school event she was coordinating.

Because she also happens to be good friends with the seller of the horse, she decided she would give her information about the horses performance during that ride and my daughter's medical condition which she has falsely stated by the way.

I am wondering since the information came from a school event, is the teacher in breach of the Privacy Act by making a witness statement for a consumer claim unrelated to that event, based on her information gathered through a school event where she is under a privacy policy with the Dept of Ed?
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
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16 February 2017
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Your post is a little hard to follow.

You want a refund for a horse, but you don’t say anything about paying for a horse. You mention a witness statement and a consumer claim. Is this a matter currently before a court? And who is this ‘other party’? Is this the same person as the seller?

Which information came from the school event? Was it the horse’s performance during the ride? If so, I can tell you that that information is not protected under the Privacy Act because (a) horses aren’t protected by that legislation and (b) an observation about a public event is hardly information of a private, personal nature. If it’s your daughter’s injury, your post seems to indicate this happened earlier.

Is your daughter’s medical condition the injury or something different? If it’s something different, was the information given generally known to people or capable of knowing by observation, or was it information that was of a confidential nature which could only be known from (for example) the school’s student file?
 

nose

Well-Known Member
27 November 2015
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Thank you Rob , its both information about the ride of the horse and my daughters medical condition which she incorrectly diagnosed. But you've answered what i wanted to know. You see the teacher is best friends with the seller and she has used the school event opportunity to give her information to assist her friend.

I did purchase the horse, it turned out to be a head shaker, a condition which in only treated by management not curable. I now have a horse we can't ride, paid $12500 and can't on sell as it is worthless as I would have to disclose the condition. The case has just started in the Tribunal, I am seeking a refund under consumer law and product guarantee. The seller claims it wasn't there before but within a month of purchase , the problem became obvious. The seller is a vet...

she claims that the horse developed allergy because of its new environment and that I havent done enough to control it. No proof mind you just her diagnosis from an inflammed nasal passage and response to anti inflammatory. No test to see what he is allergic to if he is.

But in any case he has been in three other environments since and always same problem, so this horse is "allergic" to all environments barr her own, and in term of product is unsafe to ride, and within a month has become unusable. I am having a go under guarantee of purchase.

I am told I should expect the product to last me in its full working order longer than that and there is no evidence that I have done anything to bring it on, just simply ride it, If the environment is an issue then the seller must accept the horse is only suitable for her environment and selling it outside of that isn't possible. Anyway those are my ideas at this stage, am preparing docs for submissions as we speak..thanks again appreciate any comments you may have on the matter
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
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16 February 2017
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Gold Coast, Queensland
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Whether it's a breach of privacy is debatable, depending on how she came by the information. However, it should be immediately challenged on the basis that the witness is not qualified to comment on someone else's medical condition (as well as potentially being irrelevant).

I think your first step would be to get the horse checked by an independent vet who specialises in equine medicine. Tell them why you want the horse checked and ask for a full report.

Although the seller is a vet, they are not independent - and their statements about the horse's condition should be challenged on that basis.
 

nose

Well-Known Member
27 November 2015
67
1
199
Whether it's a breach of privacy is debatable, depending on how she came by the information. However, it should be immediately challenged on the basis that the witness is not qualified to comment on someone else's medical condition (as well as potentially being irrelevant).

I think your first step would be to get the horse checked by an independent vet who specialises in equine medicine. Tell them why you want the horse checked and ask for a full report.

Although the seller is a vet, they are not independent - and their statements about the horse's condition should be challenged on that basis.

yes right. an independent VET has seen the horse last March treated him for symptoms of what he says on the bill "possible photic headshaker, recommending use of pelling pacifier to reduce photosensitivity". he didnt mention allergy. The thing is , these VETs are happy to take your money but when I have asked him for a report on what he treated the horse for so I can use in evidence he just says its in the invoice, not cooperative , they run a mile when you tell them you need it for evidence.
I will challenge the seller/vet on her diagnosis of allergy as he didnt even try to validate that , it was just her say.
 

Clancy

Well-Known Member
6 April 2016
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Get the horse valued as well by a reputable agent - more evidence for you, and the seller will disagree and try to get their own valuation, which might be an eye opener to them (unless their valuer is another friend).