Leading class action law firm Slater and Gordon is investigating a potential class action against the NSW Government following revelations at least 200 Sydney homeowners were given incorrect information relating to the future path of the F6 Motorway.
The error is understood to have affected residents who purchased property between 27 June 2016 and 24 October 2016 in or near the planned F6 extension corridor in Sydney's south, as well as the Werrington Arterial project.
Slater and Gordon Senior Associate Jonathan Wertheim said the firm is investigating the cause of the mistake and whether it was due to an administrative error.
“Residents who have done the right thing by conducting proper due diligence before purchasing their homes may have suffered a significant loss after being given incorrect information by the government authority,” Mr Wertheim said.
“If residents had known they were purchasing in the path of a future motorway or other large infrastructure project, they may not have bought the property in the first place or they might have negotiated a much lower sale price with the vendor.
“Updated information was apparently available, but not submitted to the Central Register of Restrictions for four months; if this is what happened, it is simply unacceptable.”
Mr Wertheim said affected residents could be entitled to significant compensation if negligence was proved.
“Compensation for the decrease in property value or loss of opportunity could be available for residents affected by this mistake, which could run into millions of dollars all up,” Mr Wertheim said.
“Slater and Gordon is investigating whether a class action is the best way to ensure everyone is properly compensated in the quickest and most cost-efficient way possible.
“A government scheme should also be considered, to ensure transparency and fairness is applied to any compensation process resulting from this incident.”
Mr Wertheim urged residents to seek their own, independent legal advice.
“We understand government agencies are working to contact those affected by this mistake, but I would urge people not to sign anything until they’ve spoken to their own independent lawyer,” Mr Wertheim said.
“You wouldn’t sign a consent form for serious medical treatment without seeking a second opinion and the same principles apply to signing legal documents relating to your property.”
“Settlement is an option for residents who have suffered loss in this situation, but make sure you fully understand what you’re agreeing to, because you’re only going to get one shot.”