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Compensation to be paid to Palmers Oaky ‘Black Summer’ bushfire victims following class action settlement

Maddens Lawyers 2 mins read

The New South Wales Supreme Court has approved a settlement reached between the parties in the 2019 Palmers Oaky Fire Class Action.

The defendants, Joseph Tannous, Moussa Tannous, Charbel Tannous and Kwik Flo Pty Ltd, will pay $4.5million in respect of the claims made by the lead plaintiff, Mr Jason Hegemann, and each of the participating group members that were impacted by the fire.

Maddens Lawyers Principal Kathryn Emeny said “the Supreme Court’s approval of the settlement is an important milestone. It means that compensation can shortly be distributed to class action participants. Of course, money will never replace everything that was lost in the fire, but we hope this outcome will go some way towards assisting people to rebuild their lives and make plans for the future.”    

The class action was commenced in December 2021 following a fire that ripped through properties in Palmers Oaky and Running Stream on 4 December 2019. The fire was one of dozens of fires that burnt across Australia during the 2019-2020 ‘Black Summer’ which was one of the most catastrophic fire seasons in Australia’s history.    

The fire had a devastating impact on the Palmers Oaky and Running Stream communities, burning in excess of 17,400 hectares and causing significant damage to dozens of residential and farming properties.

Mr Hegemann’s property was completely destroyed in the blaze. Ms Emeny said, “the class action would not have been possible without the courage and commitment of Mr Hegemann who put his hand up to act as a representative and advocate of the group.” 

The 2019 Palmers Oaky Fire Class Action is the 18th class action Maddens Lawyers has successfully advanced since it’s first in 2009.

Ms Emeny said, “Maddens Lawyers is proud to have a long-standing reputation acting on behalf of fire impacted property owners and obtaining millions of dollars in compensation for fire losses. We continue to advance class actions across Australia on behalf of property owners impacted by major fire events including the 2019 Cudlee Creek fire which impacted thousands of properties in the Adelaide Hills.”

- Ends -

Key Facts:

The New South Wales Supreme Court has approved a settlement reached between the parties in the 2019 Palmers Oaky Fire Class Action.

The defendants will pay $4.5million in respect of the claims made by the lead plaintiff and each of the participating group members that were impacted by the fire.

Contact details:

Kathryn Emeny, Principal, Maddens Lawyers - 03 5560 2000

Tori Croese, Marketing & Communications Manager, Maddens Lawyers - 03 5560 2000


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