A class action arising from the Horsham fires on 7 February 2009 has settled in the Victorian Supreme Court.

Read the story from the ABC here.

You can read the various court documents and the terms of settlement from the web page of Maddens Solicitors that acted for the plaintiff.

Because this case has settled it means that no legal or factual issues have been determined by the court and it does not serve as a precedent in any other litigation (such as Matthews v SPI discussed in other posts).  Other plaintiffs may think it would be inconsistent for other defendants to continue if this defendant has agreed to pay damages but, as each case is different, the law sees no such inconsistency.

The litigation from the 2003 Canberra fires has been back before the court for final submissions but a verdict in that case is still likely to be a long way off so we continue to wait for any binding decision about these fires or about responsibility for bushfires generally.

Michael Eburn
23 November 2011