Class Action — Q4 2013

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By Moira Saville

Welcome to the Q4 2013 issue of Class Action, the final issue before the release of the Year In Review report.

This quarter saw the Victorian Court of Appeal uphold the trial judge’s dismissal of the class action against the collapsed Timbercorp Group. The Court of Appeal was unable to find any error in the trial judge’s conclusions, including the factual conclusion that neither of the plaintiff witnesses actually relied on the product disclosure statement that was allegedly misleading.

A judgment in the Kilmore Black Saturday bushfire class action was delivered in October 2013 in which the Supreme Court of Victoria found that one of the defendants, SPI Electricity Pty Ltd, had unlawfully accessed land owners’ properties on multiple occasions in order to obtain evidence for the class action. The court ultimately decided, however, that the evidence obtained should not be excluded on that basis. In that action, the court has also delivered judgment dismissing a relatively late application by SPI for security for its costs…

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