Residents and businesses critical to success of floods legal action

14 June 2012
IMF Australia, the litigation funder behind a proposed class action to be run by Maurice Blackburn against the State of Queensland on behalf of thousands of victims of the 2011 floods, will convene with Maurice Blackburn a series of public meetings across flood-affected areas of Brisbane in the coming weeks.

IMF Executive Director, John Walker, said the meetings were an opportunity for residents and businesses affected by the floods to hear how the claim investigations are proceeding, that flood victims have about one month to be included in a compensation claim likely to be made to the State in late July, and that their involvement will be critical to the success of the proposed claim.

"The message to residents and businesses affected by the floods of 2011 is clear: it is time to get involved and help each other make this claim a success," Mr Walker said.

"The more people who join in, the more chance the action has of success."

Damian Scattini, Principal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, who is working with IMF Australia to investigate the proposed action, said the legal proceedings would address some questions not dealt with by the State Government's own inquiry.

"Flood-hit communities downstream from the Wivenhoe Dam deserve to know what the dam operators ought to have done throughout the January 2011 flood event," Mr Scattini said.

"They deserve to know if the loss they suffered could have been avoided and whether the State should be held accountable and compensate them for their loss."

Mr Scattini said the investigations were focusing on whether the State of Queensland, SEQ Water, SunWater or the flood operations engineers breached any duty of care in the way they operated the Wivenhoe Dam throughout the January 2011 flood event.

"Our investigations will also determine whether their negligence caused flood levels to be higher than they otherwise would have been, and what impact this had for the homes and businesses downstream of the dam," he said.

IMF Executive Director John Walker said the success of the potential class action was dependent on as many people as possible signing up from across affected communities.

"That's why we are urging anyone affected by this event to sign up - the more people who sign up the greater strength we will have in pursuing this action.

Mr Walker said the action would be conducted on a "no win, no fee to you" basis, meaning that IMF will fund all legal costs, should the case be unsuccessful, thereby removing all downside risk to flood victims who join the action.

A series of public meetings are being held in Brisbane on Sunday June 24 and Monday June 25, where householders and business owners can find out more.

 

Public meetings:

Date

Venue

Time

Sunday 24 June

Indooroopilly Bowls Club

Cnr Allwood and Clarence Roads, Indooroopilly

11:30 am

 

Sunday 24 June

Brisbane Golf Club

70 Tennyson Memorial Avenue, Yeerongpilly

3:30 pm

 

Monday 25 June

Acacia Ridge Hotel

1386 Beaudesert Road, Acacia Ridge

11:00 am

Monday 25 June

The Greek Club

29 Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane

3:00 pm

To register interest in the potential class action visit www.imf.com.au/wivenhoe or contact 1800 809 600.

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