Legal Groundup

Legal Studies from the ground up

Application Excercise 3d

1. One plaintiff, Carol Matthews, represented the 5,847 people registered as group members.

2. On behalf of the group members, the plaintiff was seeking compensation for loss suffered during the bushfire.

3. The class action enable proceedings to be brought more efficiently in relation to this bushfire as it reduces the costs of litigation by allowing plaintiffs to pool their resources, and reduces the burden on the courts by combining similar claims in one court hearing. The class action should enhance access to remedies, ensure the efficient use of court resources and avoid a large number of proceedings.

4. The case experienced delays in court due to the large number of witnesses and the large number of case documents admitted as evidence.

5. Students are likely to suggest that the outcome was fair. Students should refer to their definition of fairness in their response (such as fairness is about individuals being treated with impartiality, and without favouritism). Students could make use of Justice Osborn’s conclusion that the agreed settlement of $500 million in compensation was a timely and cost-effective resolution of the dispute.