Shine Lawyers have commenced a class action on behalf of members of the Katherine community who own, or have owned a property or a business in the investigation area as at 23 November 2016.
The class action has been filed on behalf of members of the Katherine community who own, or either own, residential or commercial property or businesses in the investigation area. It is alleged that the contamination by PFAS has negatively impacted business and land values in Katherine.
The Katherine class action follows the launch of a class action in Oakey by Shine Lawyers against the Department of Defence.
Please note the Katherine class action is not a claim for personal injuries relating to exposure to PFAS contamination.
Am I eligible to participate in the Class Action?
The Department of Defence is currently undertaking long-term environmental investigations into the contamination of soil and groundwater in the Katherine area. As part of this investigation, the Department of Defence has released a map identifying the investigation area. A copy of the investigation area map can be accessed on the website of the Department of Defence.
At present, to be eligible for the Class Action, you need to own, or have owned, a property or business within the investigation area as at 23 November 2016. The main categories of claimants that will be eligible to join are the following:
- Property owners within the investigation area; and
- Business owners within the investigation area.
It may be that the eligibility criteria for the Class Action will change, depending on legal advice. If the criteria changes, we will let you know.
Follow the link below to register for the class action:
Who is Shine Lawyers' Class Action team?
Shine Lawyers' Class Action team includes some of the firm’s most experienced special counsel, solicitors and support staff, including law clerks and paralegals. The Katherine investigation team includes:
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Common questions about Katherine Contamination Class Action
This is a proposed class action against the Commonwealth of Australia, specifically the Department of Defence. It will be alleged the Department of Defence negligently allowed firefighting foam to escape from RAAF Base Tindal. It will be alleged this foam contained chemicals that contaminated the soil and groundwater, subsequently impacting the value of surrounding properties and businesses.
The Class Action is to be brought on behalf of property owners and businesses for diminution in land and/or business values as a result of the contamination.
At this stage, the Class Action will not involve claims for health issues (current or future) from exposure to PFAS contamination.
If the claim is unsuccessful Shine Lawyers and a litigation funder, IMF Bentham, will become liable to pay any adverse costs on behalf of all claimants.
It costs nothing to join the class action.
Legal fees are currently paid in part, and disbursements in full, by litigation funder IMF Bentham.
For the remaining legal fees, Shine Lawyers is acting on a No Win No Fee basis. This means the legal fees will only be recovered if the proceedings are successful.
If the Class Action is successful and a judgment of damages is awarded to the people of Katherine, the costs and fees paid by the IMF Bentham, in order to bring the proceedings to a successful outcome, will be deducted from the amount of damages received from the Commonwealth of Australia. The final legal costs will depend on the amount of work, and time, required to resolve the claim.
The compensation being sought as part of the Class Action will be damages for the diminution of the value of properties in, or around, Katherine.
The Commonwealth of Australia has the power to compulsorily acquire property in certain situations, however, this is an issue completely separate to the Class Action. If your property is compulsory acquired for some reason it will not extinguish your rights to continue with the Class Action but may affect the value of your claim.
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