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  • Ardent Leisure Group (ALG) has been served with a shareholder class action in relation to the Dreamworld tragedy of 2016
  • The company has faced significant widespread criticism since a malfunction at its Thunder River Rapids Ride killed four people
  • Shareholders who acquired company shares between 2014 and 2016 alleged that Ardent Leisure contravened the Corporations Act of 2001
  • But the company has denied these allegations and plans to defend itself against proceedings
  • Ardent Leisure Group is trading 1.04 per cent lower in early trade, with shares selling for 47.5 cents each

Ardent Leisure Group (ALG) has been served with a shareholder class action, in relation to the Dreamworld tragedy of 2016.

The company has faced significant widespread criticism since the incident at its Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast. The horrific accident occurred at the Thunder River Rapids Ride, located within the park’s Town of Gold Rush section.

On October 25, 2016, a malfunctioning water pump in the ride caused the water levels to quickly drop. This stranded a circular raft containing six people to become stranded on support rails near the end of the raft conveyor.

Shortly after, a second raft containing another six people appeared from behind, and collided with the stranded raft. The collision, combined with the movement of the conveyor belt, caused the second raft to upend itself.

When the raft went vertical, its passengers either fell out, or became trapped near the conveyor mechanism. While two of the six passengers, both children, escaped injury, the other four passengers were tragically killed.

The recovery of the bodies at the scene involved firefighters, police, and over seven paramedic crews.

The incident triggered a series of investigations, safety inspections, and an audit of workplace health and safety laws. Dreamworld has since closed and dismantled the Thunder River Rapids Ride permanently.

While Police recommended that no criminal charges be laid against anyone, the Queensland Coroner said otherwise. The Coroner, James McDougall, recommended a prosection, saying that Ardent Leisure “may have committed an offence under workplace laws,”

An Australian law firm, Piper Alderman, has filed the class action proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia. The firm did so on behalf of people who acquired Ardent shares between June 17, 2014 and October 25, 2016.

The proceedings allege contraventions of the Corporations Act of 2001, on Ardent Leisure’s part.

In its announcement, the company refuted the claims that it contravened the Act, and stated its intentions moving forward.

“Ardent strongly denies any contraventions as alleged, and believes the proceedings to be without merit. Ardent intends to vigorously defend the proceedings,” the announcement said.

Ardent Leisure Group is trading 1.04 per cent lower in early trade, with shares selling for 47.5 cents each.

ALG by the numbers
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