Deed of Settlement lodged in Supreme Court to settle on methane class action - 25 March 2011

MEDIA RELEASE: 25 March 2011

A Deed of Settlement was filed in the Supreme Court today in respect to the Stevensons Road closed landfill class action between the City of Casey, Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and more than 700 property owners of the Brookland Greens estate.
The Deed proposes a settlement payment of $23.5 million to the group plaintiffs; with $13.5 million coming from the City of Casey and $10 million from the EPA. The Settlement is subject to the approval of the Supreme Court which today made directions relating to the approval process.

While the City of Casey, the EPA and the plaintiffs are the only parties to the settlement, under the settlement terms, Casey and the EPA will pursue recovery claims against nine other defendants in the proceeding.

City of Casey Mayor Cr Shar Balmes said the proposed settlement is a good outcome for all the parties concerned.

'While proceedings by Casey and the EPA against the other defendants will continue, the settlement of the group action at this time is important because it means that the residents can now get on with their lives without the court action or legal proceedings dominating their lives. Council can also continue to firmly focus its efforts on remediation and maintenance of the closed landfill site’, said Cr Balmes.

‘I am extremely pleased that a settlement has been achieved ahead of what would have been a costly and distracting court case for everyone.

‘Council has always maintained that a range of parties, including a number of its consultants and managers, contributed to the methane issues at the landfill, and we are confident of recovering much of Council’s outlay as we continue to pursue legal action against the nine other defendants, who are primarily technical experts who provided advice or managed the landfill on behalf of Council over many years. We also have a continuing claim for indemnity against Council’s insurer, the Municipal Association Victoria.’

The Supreme Court approval process is expected to take approximately six to eight weeks, allowing for the group plaintiffs to consider the proposal and the court to hear any formal responses.