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The class action trial on behalf of the owners of approximately 800 Brookland Greens properties affected by gas leaks in 2008 is to commence in July 2011.
Justice Robert Osborn told the parties at a directions hearing in the Supreme Court today that he wanted to ensure the trial was completed by the end of 2011 and a start date of July was therefore important. Justice Osborn will publish his orders next week, which will include the start date.
Slater and Gordon hosted a mass meeting with Brookland Greens clients on Wednesday night this week. The private meeting provided property owners with updated information about the claim and the trial process.
Slater and Gordon lawyer Manisha Blencowe said her clients looked forward to a trial because it would hold the City of Casey, the EPA and other parties to account.
“Our clients feel that a trial would be satisfying in making the City of Casey, the EPA and other parties accountable, however, they’re angry that no-one has been prepared to take responsibility and have this matter resolved,” Ms Blencowe said.
“Our clients feel that the defendants are exercising poor judgement by putting more time and money into a trial rather than putting those resources into compensating them.”
“Since 2008 this issue has been a massive burden on the daily home lives of residents. In addition to continued disruptions and uncertainty, this unresolved matter has taken an emotional toll on our clients; it has also restricted them financially and it has certainly restricted their ability to plan for the future.”
“During the election campaign the Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change Mary Wooldridge committed $24 million to meet the full remediation costs of the landfill, which is welcomed, but the residents are crying out for a resolution to the issue of compensation.”
"Our new Premier Ted Baillieu spoke out in support of the people at Brookland Greens in 2008 and he called on the government to take responsibility for this matter and to compensate those affected. Residents are hoping that now he will step in and resolve the issue of compensation so that they can get on with their lives.”
Slater and Gordon lawyers are pursuing damages for diminished property value and loss of use and enjoyment on behalf of Brookland Greens property owners. Twelve defendants are now involved in the class action, including the City of Casey, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Peet & Co.