Maddens Lawyers launch class action against Powercor in Supreme Court

Court action: A third class action against Powercor has been launched in the Supreme Court for Gnotuk and Camperdown residents and landowners affected by the St Patrick's Day fires. Pictured - The northern and western sides of Lake Bullen Merri which were burnt in the St Patrick's Day fire. Picture: Christine Ansorge
Court action: A third class action against Powercor has been launched in the Supreme Court for Gnotuk and Camperdown residents and landowners affected by the St Patrick's Day fires. Pictured - The northern and western sides of Lake Bullen Merri which were burnt in the St Patrick's Day fire. Picture: Christine Ansorge

A third class action has been launched against Powercor over the St Patrick’s Day fires.

Maddens Lawyers has issued the class action in the Victorian Supreme Court on behalf of Gnotuk/ Camperdown residents and landowners.

The Camperdown fire started about 20 minutes after Powercor and police were notified that a tree limb had snapped an electrical supply line near Cross Forest Road, Naroghid.

Maddens Lawyers said it was alleged that wires near the incident site remained live and arced which resulted in molten metal and sparks being ejected into dry grasses below.

Class action principal Kathryn Emeny said that the fire was particularly devastating as it could have been avoided had Powercor responded promptly to an emergency call alerting it to a conductor lying across the road.

She said the fire caused damage to approximately 12 properties. One residence was completely destroyed and the Camperdown Golf Course was also damaged. Other damages include livestock, fencing and pasture. 

Lake Gnotuk couple Anna Carrucan and Irwin Lowe are involved in the latest class action. More than 25 hectares were burnt, comprising pasture used for silage production, as well as hundreds of silage rolls, kilometres of fencing, shelter belts and conservation plantings.

Dr Carrucan said the asset loss, as well as time, energy and expense to clean up, attend meetings and various administrative tasks could not be underestimated and they would follow the proceedings closely.  

This class action follows the firm filing separate class actions for Terang fire victims against Powercor on April 10 and Garvoc fire victims against Powercor which was lodged on March 28.  

Ms Emeny said the damages bill for the Garvoc fire was likely to exceed $20million and the estimated damages bill for the Terang bushfire was likely to exceed $40million. 

She said Maddens Lawyers had received strong community support in relation to each of the St Patrick’s Day bushfire class actions. More than 150 impacted property owners have contacted them to register their interest in participating. 

These include registrations from more than 100 families or individuals impacted by the Terang fire and an additional 40 registrations for the Garvoc fire.

A class action for Gazette fire victims in Gazette area is also planned. 

"Investigations with respect to the cause and circumstances of the Gazette fire are well advanced and we anticipate commencing proceedings in the Supreme Court shortly," she said.  

Comments

Discuss "Third class action over St Patrick’s Day fires launched"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.