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Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) - Managing Director & CEO, Andrew Saker
Managing Director & CEO, Andrew Saker
Source: Lawyerly
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  • Litigation funder Omni Bridgeway (OBL) has outlined a $440 million partial settlement to victims in the long-running Wivenhoe Dam flood case
  • More than 6500 residents won the landmark case in 2019 after Queensland water authorities were found to have negligently managed the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams in the January 2011 floods
  • The State of Queensland and Sunwater have settled their collective 50 per cent share of the liability, subject to execution of a deed of settlement and court approval
  • State-owned enterprise Seqwater, which accounts for the remaining 50 per cent, has not yet settled
  • Omni Bridgeway is down 0.8 per cent to $3.74 per share

Litigation funder Omni Bridgeway (OBL) has outlined a $440 million partial settlement to victims in the long-running Wivenhoe Dam flood case.

More than 6500 residents who were affected won the landmark class action in 2019 after Queensland water authorities were found to have negligently managed the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams in the January 2011 floods.

“This has been a hard-fought and extremely expensive case on behalf of approximately 6,700 claimants, against determined defendants over many years,” Omni Bridgeway said in a statement.

The State of Queensland and Sunwater have settled their collective 50 per cent of the liability in an overall case that’s expected to have a total settlement value of $880 million.

This portion of the settlement remains subject to the execution of a deed of settlement and court approval.

State-owned enterprise Seqwater, which accounts for the remaining 50 per cent, has not yet settled and will appeal NSW Supreme Court Justice Robert Beech-Jones’s 2019 ruling in May this year.

Maurice Blackburn Principal Rebecca Gilsenan said the case had been a long and arduous battle.

“Of course, complete closure can only happen for our clients when Seqwater also settles or Seqwater’s appeal is finalised,” she said.

“The class will continue to vigorously fight Seqwater’s appeal, buoyed by today’s substantial settlement reached with the other two defendants.”

Maurice Blackburn filed the class action in the Supreme Court of New South Wales on July 8, 2014, seeking compensation for financial loss and damage caused by the flood.

The action alleged that the operators of the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams were negligent in failing to use rainfall forecasts to make decisions about operating strategies.

It also argued that the operators had failed to reserve a sufficient amount of the dams’ storage capacity in order to protect the surrounding urban region.

Omni Bridgeway is down 0.8 per cent to $3.74 per share at 1:21pm AEDT.

OBL by the numbers
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