Class Actions Level Playing Field
Legislative changes in Queensland which have established a regime for conducting class actions provide plaintiffs with a more level playing field to seek justice, says leading legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers.
The Queensland law firm has been among the first to take advantage of recent amendments to the Civil Proceedings Act 2011 with the launch of its class action against Advanta Seeds Pty Ltd, previously trading as Pacific Seeds, on behalf of growers in Queensland and NSW who have had sorghum contaminated with shattercane seed.
Creevey Russell’s Principal Dan Creevey said in many cases a class action – a claim arising from seven or more claimants against the same defendant and handled as a rule on a ‘no win, no fee basis’ – is the only option many plaintiffs have to seek redress from the courts.
“Class actions allows plaintiffs to pursue claims even if the quantum of the claim is not that great,” he said. “A class action lawsuit allows plaintiffs to pursue a worthy cause on principle. For example, a bank may be adding hidden fees to customers’ accounts. While the amount of the claim for the individual may not warrant the legal fees for one plaintiff, a class action allows such litigants to seek justice.”
Mr Creevey said another advantage to a class action is a judgment or settlement against the defendant can result in a fairer distribution to the plaintiffs.
“If many plaintiffs sue the defendant the ‘first in’ plaintiffs may be the only ones who receive damages,” he said. “Class actions provide more options for an equitable distribution of the judgment/settlement moneys.
“Class actions also benefit the judicial system. The case is managed and determined by one judge in one court. That judge ensures that the matter progresses as quickly as possible and that it is given a certain level of priority and decisions are made in the interests of justice.”
Dan Creevey (07) 4617 8777
About Creevey Russell Lawyers
Creevey Russell Lawyers is a full service law firm which operates primarily from our Brisbane practice, with the capacity to provide superior legal services to western Queensland through our Toowoomba practice. Creevey Russell Lawyers deliver results to a variety of clients including developers, corporations, accountants, liquidators and private clientele