In November 2008 Slater & Gordon commenced a class action on behalf of hundreds of property owners whose properties had been affected by the migration of methane gas from the disused Stevensons Road landfill in Cranbourne.
On 25 March 2011, Slater & Gordon announced that a settlement of the class action had been reached, subject to approval by the Court (read media release). Under the proposed settlement, the City of Casey and EPA will pay $23.5 million in compensation including the costs of conducting the claim. All group members will receive compensation under the settlement with a minimum compensation amount of $6,000 and payments rising to approximately $130,000 for those worst effected. The application for approval of the settlement will be heard on 29 April 2011.
The statement of claim that was lodged with the Supreme Court of Victoria in November 2008 sought unspecified damages from the defendant, the City of Casey. Since that time, the EPA and 10 other defendants have been joined to the proceeding. The mediation of the case began in May 2009 and continued over many days. Due to the number of parties involved and the difficulty locating appropriately sized mediation facilities, the mediation had to be conducted at the County Court and also the Federal Court. The trial of the case was listed for July 2011 and was expected to run for at least 3 months. During the course of the proceeding Slater & Gordon obtained over 100,000 documents for review. Numerous expert witnesses were expected to give evidence at the trial on a range of topics including highly technical issues relating to landfill design and construction and landfill gas migration.
Slater & Gordon is proud to have backed the property owners in their case for compensation. We are particularly pleased for our clients that following the recent approval application filed with the Court, it looks sets to resolve before entering into a long and expensive trial.If the settlement scheme is approved, group members will receive their first settlement payment at the end of June 2011 and will receive a final distribution in August 2011.
Information current as of 29 March 2011.