find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Slaters suffers multi-million dollar write-down

Slaters suffers multi-million dollar write-down

Slater & Gordon has taken a $10 million hit after the High Court decided not to grant its client leave to appeal a Federal Court decision in the Vioxx class action.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), Slater & Gordon said it had spent approximately $10 million to fund the Vioxx class-action litigation since it started in 2005.

The firm added that the amount will be written down in the current year’s financial accounts and won’t have a cash impact as the costs have been accounted for.

The class action involved Slater & Gordon client, and Victorian occupational health and safety consultant, Graeme Peterson, who in March 2010 was awarded $287,912 by the Federal Court after he suffered a heart attack in 2003 after taking the arthritis drug Vioxx for three years.

Vioxx had been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes and Slater & Gordon's class litigation involved Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) - the local arm of global pharmaceutical giant Merck.

Last October the Full Court of the Federal Court upheld an appeal by MSD overturning the original decision.

The High Court last week decided that it will not grant Peterson leave to appeal this decision, and therefore the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court now stands.

The Slater & Gordon ASX announcement said the Vioxx class action is “the only project litigation case being wholly or partly funded by the company, the outcome of which may have a material impact on the company’s financial performance”.


Meanwhile, Slater & Gordon yesterday (16 May) filed a class action in the Supreme Court against three parties - the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, the director of the now-closed Croydon Day Surgery and anaesthetist James Latham Peters.

The lawsuit is on behalf of 50 women who contracted the hepatitis C virus after having abortions at the Melbourne surgery, under the care of Peters, between January 2008 and December 2009.

It is alleged that Peters, who had hepatitis C at the time, infected the women.

As part of a class action, Slater & Gordon is seeking damages from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

“The medical board’s primary role was to protect the public by regulating medical practitioners. It had a specific duty to minimise the community’s exposure to health risks and we believe that, in this instance, the board failed in its duties,” said Julie Clayton, practice group leader at Slater & Gordon.

Clayton said the women had suffered “significant psychological trauma”' as a result of their infections, and added that she believed it is the first time that a personal injury class action has been lodged against a medical practitioner regulator in Australia.

Slater & Gordon told Lawyers Weekly it is seeking unspecified damages and that no court dates have yet been set.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Slaters suffers multi-million dollar write-down
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...