FIDUCIARY OBLIGATIONS.docx - FIDUCIARY OBLIGATIONS 1...

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FIDUCIARY OBLIGATIONS 1. Compare the cases of Hospital Products Ltd v United States Surgical Corporation (1984) and United Dominions Corporation v Brian Pty Ltd (1985). What definitions of fiduciary relationship did the HCA employ and can these be reconciled? Which, if any of these definitions did the HCA prefer in John Alexander’s Clubs Pty Ltd v White City Tennis Club Ltd (2010)? The “undertaking” test of a fiduciary relationship was identified in Hospital Products Ltd v United States Surgical Corporation: “The critical feature of these relationships is that the fiduciary undertakes or agrees to act for or on behalf of or in the interests of another person in the exercise of a power or discretion which will affect the interest of that person in a legal or practical sense .” Hospital Products Ltd v United States Surgical Corporation --> Vertical Fiduciary Relationships Facts: USSC manufactured surgical stapling products. Blackman realised that USSC’s products were not patented in Australia and offered to become its distributor. He obtained exclusive distribution rights in Australia and then established his own company, Hospital Products, which competed with USSC by repackaging USSC’s products and selling them as its own and by reverse engineering USSC’s products to enable competing products to be developed. This was so successful that Hospital Products began competing with USSC in the USA as well. USSC terminated the contract with Blackman and sued him and Hospital Products for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary obligation. Issue: Does a fiduciary relationship exist? Or is it purely commercial?
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