2022 – Lessons learned from the Queensland floods class action

Kione Johnson Special Counsel, King & Wood Mallesons

The Queensland Floods Class Action was one of the largest class actions in Australian history. In April 2022, the High Court refused to grant special leave to appeal, sealing the outcome of the class action after more than seven years of litigation (and 11 years after the January 2011 flood event). Seqwater was not liable. This article outlines the lessons learnt from the class action for the industry in terms of differences in the applicable standard of care and the need for clearly defined dam operating procedures and guidelines. It considers potential reforms the industry may wish to consider to undo the balance of the trial decision.

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