Slater & Gordon and Maddocks have helped settle a class action that arose after high levels of methane gas sparked an emergency evacuation.
More than 750 home owners on an estate in the outer Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne had to be evacuated in August 2008 after high levels of Methane gas were detected at a disused landfill site nearby.
Slater & Gordon launched a class action shortly afterwards on a no win, no fee basis. It eventually attracted over 600 of the affected residents, with the firm submitting a $23.5 million settlement offer to the Supreme Court of Victoria last week (25 May).
Slaters practice group leader Ben Hardwick led the firm's team, with support from senior associate Manisha Blencowe. Maddocks partner David Laidlaw acted for Casey Council, the main defendant in the dispute.
"Our clients had a number of issues related to the gas levels and the temporary evacuation," Hardwick said. "Including the impact of property values and the loss of enjoyment of the use of the property, and the remediation work that took place over the two-and-a-half years during the course of proceedings.
"All of those impacts formed part of the damages claim."
Hardwick said that a damages amount "was never quantified" with regard to the worth of the class action.