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Largest Class Action for Negligence to begin in Queensland

Brisbane residents will commence Australia’s largest ever class action this month for compensation against Wivenhoe and Somerse Dam operators.

During the 2011 floods more than 2000 homes and businesses in Brisbane and Ipswich were affected. The economic damage was estimated at $2.38 billion, with three quarters of Queensland being declared a disaster zone.

The Queensland Flood Commission found that operators did not follow protocol on the weekend leading up to the peak of the 2011 floods.  Victims claim the dame operators were careless and negligent and contributed to the deluge when dam engineers were forced to release large amounts of water to prevent the Wivenhoe Dam from collapsing.

Maurice Blackburn Solicitors, backed by litigation funder Bentham IMF, have lodged proceedings seeking compensation for financial loss and damage caused by the negligent operation of the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams, with the future compensation bill estimated at $1 billion dollars.

Maurice Blackburn have released a statement alleging that the operators of the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams “had a duty to operate the dams competently in order to minimise the impact of dam releases downstream….the negligent operation of the dams in the lead up to and during the 2011 flood significantly contributed to the extent and the level of flooding downstream of the dams and created a flood that was much worse than it would have been if the dams had been operated competently”.

The proceedings have been commenced in the NSW Supreme Court, because there is currently no provision for Queenslanders to launch class actions in their own state.

For an update on any area of the law that may be of interest to you please contact Brazel Moore Lawyers on 4324 7699.

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