Insurers have recently joined with 4000 victims of the 2011 Queensland floods to take action against the dam operators in the region as part of a massive class action.
The 2011 Queensland floods caused an absolutely colossal amount of damage, leading to around $2.38 billion in damage, and damage to at least 70 towns in the region. In addition, a number of people were killed and went missing as a result of the floods. Business insurers were also hit hard by the disaster.
Now, those affected are seeking to take action against the cause of the floods.
On 8 July, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers lodged the class action with the NSW Supreme Court. The action was taken against the State of Queensland, Seqwater and Sunwater.
Maurice Blackburn Principal Damian Scattini has claimed the flood was in fact preventable.
“Many people have been led to assume that the January 2011 flood was caused by unprecedented heavy rainfall in early January, and that as a result the flood that occurred could not be avoided,” he explained.
Mr Scattini went on to outline the real cause of the flooding, and how the events can be traced back to 1 December 2010. He claimed that from 1 December to mid-January in 2011, both dams were filled as the heavy rainfall had already had an impact.
“Despite this, at every opportunity from 1 December 2010 onwards the flood engineers failed again and again to undertake proper release strategies for both dams, irrespective of the continuing weather warnings that made it clear more heavy rain was expected,” he said.
Litigation funders Bentham IMF said around $100 million was being sought from the insurers, with more sought to join the cause. Damages sought could in fact reach as high as $1 billion. This would make it the largest class action in Australia.