Kilmore East - Kinglake bushfire class action to close
1 February 2013
With the state's largest trial of the year nearing its beginning on 4 March, the Supreme Court has ordered that people who suffered injury, property or economic loss as a result of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfire in the Kilmore East-Kinglake area must now register their compensation claims.
From today, public notices will appear in local and metropolitan papers explaining how anyone who is eligible to be part of the class action can register their claim. It will also outline the risks of not registering before the closing date of 4pm on 22 March, 2013.
The class action is being run on a no-win, no-fee basis by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. Senior Associate on the case Rory Walsh, says people affected by the fire should register now to ensure they can benefit from the class action.
"We have spent years developing this important case for trial, and now that those people devastated by this bushfire are about to get their day in court, it's imperative that people make a decision about registering their claims," Mr Walsh said.
"There are no cost risks for affected people to register, but the consequences of not registering with the action are serious.
"Quite simply put, if the class action is successful and you haven't registered your claim by 4pm on 22 March this year, then you will not be able to recover compensation in the class action for personal injury.
"Furthermore, if the case is resolved via settlement and you have suffered uninsured property loss, registering with the class action is the only avenue you have to recover your losses."
Mr Walsh said that while there may be other options for non-registrants to pursue personal injury claims outside of the class action, and for property loss sufferers to share in a potential judgment by the court, people wanting compensation were safest to register.
"Maurice Blackburn has proudly supported bushfire victims in pursuing their compensation rights since the 2009 fires, and we will continue that - but it is vitally important that people register their claims by the 4pm 22 March timeframe, otherwise they risk missing out."