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Residents of PFAS contaminated towns reach agreement with Federal Government

26 February 2020

Class Actions

Shine Lawyers is proud to confirm a confidential in-principle agreement has been reached in the firm’s PFAS contamination class actions against the Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Defence). 

Class Actions Practice Leader Joshua Aylward said the positive result, reached overnight during formal negotiations between the parties, would come as a relief to affected residents.

“The people of Oakey and Katherine have been living in limbo for more than five years,”

Mr Aylward said.

“We’re pleased to have achieved this outcome for these communities, which will help property owners to move forward with their lives,”

he said. 

“This settlement will go some way to financially compensate them for the extensive property value losses they’ve experienced and for the stress which they have been under.”

What are the next steps in the class action? 

Shine Lawyers will now seek approval from Justice Lee on the terms of the settlement. The firm will then determine the method through which the settlement will be distributed. 

How have your clients reacted this morning? 

They are thrilled to finally be heard after what has been a five year-long wait for justice. 

Imagine moving into your dream home, where you plan to raise your family, only to discover that you’re potentially exposing your kids to toxic chemicals. This has been a protracted emotional and financial battle for many of our clients. 

What does this mean for other communities affected by PFAS? 

Every site is unique and has been contaminated in different ways. Each location will be individually assessed and where Shine Lawyers has capacity to help, it will always endeavour to do so. 

Have you heard from Erin Brockovich on this? 

Yes, this is a proud moment for Erin as well. She has visited multiple Australian towns affected by PFAS contamination and has been a champion for the rights of residents.

“This victory belongs to the people of Katherine, Oakey, and Williamtown who had the courage to rise up and fight for their communities,”

Ms Brockovich said in a statement. 

“I know better than most how gruelling and time-consuming class actions can be so I want to congratulate residents for never giving up hope,” she said. 

“I’m sure there were times you felt nobody was listening but this settlement is both an acknowledgement of your struggle and a chance to turn the page on this difficult chapter in your lives.”

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