A class action seeking compensation on behalf of hundreds of claimants across six states has been confirmed following release of the Callinan report on Australia’s equine influenza (EI) outbreak.
The Gold Coast based, Attwood Marshall Lawyers, will be initiating the claim with urgency following the report’s key finding that the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) was to blame.
Attwood Marshall partner Jeff Garrett said, while the finding of blame against AQIS was expected, other parties may ultimately share a degree of fault and also be sued.
Mr Garrett said provisions of the Civil Liability Act made it necessary for all parties proven negligent to bear part of the legal responsibility.
“It may be that other parties or their insurers are found to be partially at fault and that they should share part of the compensation burden,” said Mr Garrett.
Mr Garrett said Attwood Marshall had received more than 350 enquiries from potential claimants from 164 different towns and capital cities.
“We received diverse enquiries from across the nation with the exception of the Northern Territory and believe we will receive hundreds more as a result of the Callinan report and that damages claimed will extend to hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“Justice Callinan has been very thorough and the report will pave the way for the many Australians who suffered devastating losses to claw back compensation.”
Mr Garrett has called on the Government to establish a compensation fund to cover all those who had suffered loss.
“The was no announcement regarding compensation and it is a pity that EI outbreak victims will be left with no outcome other than making their claims in the Courts.”
Mr Garrett said the launch of the class action was imminent.