HomeBreaking NewsBushfire victims back $150m compensation claim
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Bushfire victims back $150m compensation claim


Charleston man Peter, who did want his surname published, said the December 2019 fires had reduced him to a shadow of his former self and robbed him of his longstanding dream to start a business refurbishing classic cars.The Hills father is one of almost 400 residents to have backed a class action by Maddens Lawyers against Power SA Networks.The lawsuit alleges the power company should have adjusted the energy network’s fault protection devices in preparation for the day.Residents are also suing the owners of the property that the fire started on, alleging they neglected to maintain the tree that fell on power lines, sparking the blaze.An estimated $150m in damages is being sought.The law firm held its first community sessions in Lobethal on Wednesday to provide an update to registered locals, including Peter.“We don’t have anything to lose (with this class action) and everything to gain,” Peter said.“Hopefully something will come from it in the end, be it in year or 10 years … we’re just trying to get out lives back and try to move forward.”Peter said he and his family lost all but a step ladder in the fire, including four classic cars he had hoped to restore for profit.He said he had worked 35 years towards starting his own car restoration business, just to watch it all go up in flames.“After the fires, I didn’t really care anymore what I wore to the shops … and the hair started growing,” he said.“To me, it’s kind of like a healing process to get my hair cut … but I’m not ready.“I still can’t sleep at night … and have bad dreams.”Maddens Lawyers Special Counsel Brendan Pendergast said due to Covid and border closures a community forum had only been called now.“We’ve managed the group remotely and by telephone and Zoom but we haven’t really had a group meeting at all, which has made the (management) of the class (action) quite difficult,” he said.“Normally we would have a community meeting and tell everyone what we’re proposing to do and get them in at the ground level, but that hasn’t been possible.“(However), we see this as a strong case … and are confident that we will recover compensation.”The Cudlee Creek fire started after a 24m tall plantation forest pine tree fell on to a power line. The resulting blaze killed civil engineer Ron Selth and destroyed about 90 homes and 500 [email protected]

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