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Margaret River fire victims launch class action (cloned for SW 1347245992)
Margaret River fire victims poised to launch class action

Margaret River bushfire victims are poised to launch a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Law firm Slater and Gordon announced this morning that 35 people had committed to plans for a class action against the State Government over the November 23 and 24 fires.

Consulting bushfire litigation lawyer Kevin Banks Smith, who negotiated settlements after the Toodyay and Tenterden fires, blamed DEC's negligence for the fires.

"If someone loses their house and their possessions because of a fire you deliberately start, then we take the view that you are fully responsible for all their losses, not just a part of them," he said.

Slater and Gordon commercial and project litigation general manager James Higgins said bushfire victims were left short by recent Riskcover payouts.

"The (RiskCover) scheme also fails to compensate residents and homeowners for theloss of amenity and decline in property values which have resulted from these fires," he said.

Slater and Gordon said it expects at least 30 more people to come forward.

Residents have until October 5 to sign up to the class action.

The West Australian

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