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
Flood firms refute inaccuracy claims

Flood firms refute inaccuracy claims

The firms behind one of Australia’s biggest ever class actions have defended the modelling used to drum up support amid criticism of alleged errors in the maps produced.


Maurice Blackburn and the company financing the action, IMF Australia, which hopes to claim up to a billion dollars compensation for thousands of Queensland flood victims, refuted claims in the Queensland media of inaccuracy in the maps, adding that the negative press will have no impact on the action pressing ahead. 

Last week, Maurice Blackburn released colour-coded maps showing areas of Queensland’s southeast flooded in 2011 because of what it said was the mismanagement of Wivenhoe Dam. The maps show areas of Brisbane and Ipswich that the firm claims would not have flooded if Wivenhoe Dam had operated properly.

However, some Brisbane residents have now come forward to complain that their properties did not flood in 2011 but were shown in the flooded zones on the maps.

Maurice Blackburn class action principal Damian Scattini has moved to distance the firm from any inaccuracy on the maps, stating its modelling was worked out on flood maps obtained from the state government.

Scattini said the maps were accurate and the firm stands by the models, which he says were determined by overlaying aerial imaging generated by Ipswich and Brisbane councils, the then Department of Environment and Resource Management, and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority.

I think some people have interpreted that we’re touting for people to join the class action who weren’t flooded … that would be a ridiculous thing to be doing; it would make for a pretty strange book build,” Scattini told Lawyers Weekly.

Scattini said the maps were not a piece of evidence that will ever be presented in court but had served their “illustrative and educational” purpose in helping determine the financial viability of the lawsuit and publicising it.

IMF executive director John Walker (pictured) believes the recent press about the maps will have no negative impact on the action.

“I’m not certain it’s negative at all,” Walker told Lawyers Weekly.

“The maps are informative, showing people whether they have a claim or not, but they were never going to form the basis of this class action.

“We just need to ensure that people are given an opportunity to come forward, so we have to be public about what we’re doing. To a certain extent, getting people talking about it is a good thing,” he added.

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

Flood firms refute inaccuracy claims
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
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 & ...