Black Saturday Bushfires - Responses - Economic Impact - Lawsuits

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Lawsuits

A class action lawsuit was initiated in the Supreme Court of Victoria on 13 February by Slidders Lawyers against electricity distribution company SP AusNet, in relation to the Kilmore East fire that became part of the Kinglake complex, and the Beechworth fires. A partner at the firm indicated that the claim would centre on alleged negligence by SP AusNet in its management of electricity infrastructure. On 12 February police had taken away a section of power line as well as a power pole from near Kilmore East, part of a two-kilometre section of line that fell on the morning of 7 February and was believed to have started the fire there.

A separate class action claim was expected to be commenced by Gadens Lawyers some time after 16 February, and Slater & Gordon indicated that they were awaiting the report of the to-be-established Royal Commission, expected in late 2010, before initiating any claims.

Also on 13 February, five law firms from Victoria's Western Districts held a meeting to discuss a potential class action in relation to the Horsham fire, which was also thought to have been started by fallen power lines.

Over 600 bushfire victims signed up for a class action lawsuit against Singapore Power, majority shareholder of SP Ausnet. The action alleges the power company failed to fit a $10 protective device on the power line, which contributed to it breaking and starting the devastating Kilmore East/Kinglake fire.

Read more about this topic:  Black Saturday Bushfires, Responses, Economic Impact

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