Lawyer "more confident all the time" for flood victims
MAURICE Blackburn lawyers are leaving no stone unturned in preparing a class action against the State Government on behalf of more than 4000 flood victims.
The firm of specialist compensation lawyers has been working for more than a year with experts from the US to prepare the case and an announcement on the progress of the claim is imminent.
Maurice Blackburn principal Damian Scattini told the QT that he was "more confident all the time" of the class action getting off the ground.
Preparatory work is of vital importance because the flood victims will only get one shot at a claim of this magnitude.
The experts in the US, one of whom worked extensively on modelling in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, are compiling evidence that Mr Scattini said would answer two questions.
"The first is: Was the dam operated to the standard to be expected of a reasonably competent dam operator in the circumstances?" he said
"Secondly: If not, then what difference did that make to the people and businesses downstream of the dam? So they are modelling that.
"It sounds simple but a lot of work goes into that. We are waiting for the final answer about question two. There are terabytes of information. It is a vast area.
"This is the last and best hope for people of Ipswich and elsewhere.
We take the responsibility and privilege of representing these people very seriously, so we owe it to them to take the time to get it right. But we will have an announcement about it and we will get back to people soon.
"We take the responsibility and privilege of representing these people very seriously, so we owe it to them to take the time to get it right. But we will have an announcement about it and we will get back to people soon."
The class action relates to the Wivenhoe Dam flood release and the claimants are those from south-east Queensland who were affected by that release. A large number of those are from Ipswich.
Mr Scattini said the case was being run on a "no win, no fee" basis and is underwritten by litigation funder IMF.
That means that in the unlikely case that the case fails, it will not cost flood victims anything.
Flood victims can still sign up for the class action by going to imf.com.au.