$30.5 Million "Vitamins" Cartel Class Action Ready For Court Approval

5 April 2006
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have today welcomed the Queensland Government's commitment to introducing a class actions regime, saying the move was an important step in helping to open access to justice for Queenslanders.

Class Actions Principal Damian Scattini said the Queensland Government's acceptance of arguments in favour of the broad benefits of a class actions regime was encouraging, but said it was also important that any state-based regime mirrored current federal provisions.

"Queenslanders have long been in need of a class actions regime, and it is pleasing that the State Government has acknowledged this, as well as the benefits it will bring for people right across our State," Mr Scattini said.

"Class actions play an important role in providing access to justice and remedies for victims of wrongdoing who otherwise would have very limited options, and it is pleasing that the Queensland Government has now also recognised the value of this efficient mechanism.

"We need to see the full details of what the Government is proposing, however it's important that any new scheme in Queensland incorporates provisions of the current Federal scheme, which has a proven track record in working to effectively run large group actions.

"In particular, it is important that any Queensland scheme has in place processes for efficiently resolving common issues amongst class members; the ability to protect class members from the operation of limitations periods; and an agreed court approval process for settlements.

"We look forward to working with the Government in introducing a class actions regime in Queensland, something we believe will be of great benefit in continuing to improve access to justice for people in years to come, provided it's implemented appropriately," he said.

Mr Scattini said class actions were one of the few ways that victims of mass wrongdoing by large organisations, could actually access the justice system and pursue meaningful remedies, whilst also holding those organisations to account.

Maurice Blackburn's class action practice is the largest in Australia and has secured more than $1 billion in settlements for victims of mass wrongs over the past 15 years.