Why is there a class action about prawn white spot disease?
The Class Action seeks damages on behalf of claimants connected with the Australian seafood industry who have suffered financially and will continue to suffer financially due to Prawn White Spot Disease caused by alleged biosecurity breaches at the Australian border in or about 2016 and 2017. It will be alleged that those breaches resulted in the introduction of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and the eventual outbreak of Prawn White Spot Disease in Australia, which has devastated the commercial prawn, seafood and bait industries.
Listen to Chris Thompson outline the class action
The Class Action is being fully funded by Omni Bridgeway. Clyde & Co Lawyers are the lead law firm running the case against the Commonwealth Government.
Law Essentials are assisting Omni Bridgeway and Clyde & Co with Book Building and evidence gathering. Signing up is the first step for anyone impacted by the introduction of WSD into the country – The prawn white spot litigation funding scheme
Who can join the class action?
Commercial fishers, skippers, deckies, lessees of licenses, commercial prawn importers, commercial prawn farmers, commercial wholesalers, processors and transporters should evaluate joining the class action. Seafood retailers are not part of this class action.
Does it cost money to join the class action?
Because Omni Bridgeway is involved as a funder of this class action, it won’t cost you a cent out of your pocket. They earn their share once the claim is successful. If the claim is unsuccessful, you don’t owe anything as Omni Bridgeway has assumed the responsibility for any financial risks and costs of bringing the class action.
PRAWN WHITE SPOT DISEASE CLASS ACTION – UPDATE 18 October 2021
It’s all happening now!
I can confirm that the court case against the Federal Government has now been filed in the Queensland Supreme Court.
The court documents were literally filed about 10 minutes ago.
What this all means is that we are now on the pathway to assist you all to recover losses that you have suffered (and will continue to suffer) for WSD being allowed to enter the country and ultimately the wild fishery.
We had to nominate a lead plaintiff for the case – as that is what happens in a class action, rather than naming 200 plus individuals. Tweed Bait Pty Ltd is the lead plaintiff and might be joined by another commercial fisher lead plaintiff abit later on. They have been very generous with their time and will continue to assist in the process to the benefit of everyone who has signed up to the class action.
The bottom line is that your case is now proceeding. A huge amount of work has gone into this case to get us to this stage, so watch this space for more updates as things are now going to get interesting for sure.
I will be in touch.
PRAWN WHITE SPOT DISEASE CLASS ACTION – UPDATE 4 August 2021
I know the lockdowns are causing grief to many businesses and I hope restrictions ease very soon for you all. I see the quota allocations have just been released also which will understandably have many upset.
The sign-up for the class action is going really well. There are however a fair few fishers and allied businesses that have still not signed up. Many simply say they “haven’t gotten around to it”. I have chased those people 3 or 4 times but they still won’t take the 5 minutes to sign up and get the forms back to me. Sadly for those people, they will simply miss out and probably be upset when they realise the “door has shut” when they want to jump onboard when they realise people are receiving compensation cash if we win. Nothing much I can do about that, they have had every opportunity.
The good news for those stragglers is that the funder has confirmed that they will keep the class action “open” until 31 August 2021, so there is still an opportunity for people to join before then. After that (unless extended again to accommodate for continued Covid disruptions), it’s “too bad, too sad” for those who “missed the boat”.
If you know anyone that has not signed, if you can, please tell them how simple it is to join.
I will report back next month with further developments.
PRAWN WHITE SPOT DISEASE CLASS ACTION – Update 8 July 2021
This is an update to everyone that has joined the class action AND an update to everyone who is still deciding.
The deadline to join the “closed” class action has been extended until 30 August 2021.
Many of you reading this email have already completed the required forms and sent them back, which is great.
There are still many people who have not, thanks in part to the continued travel restrictions due to Covid-19.
The additional time is to extend the opportunity to join to anyone that was negatively impacted in any way by White Spot Disease.
I have said many times before that “sitting on the fence to see what pans out”, will NOT work for a “closed” class action.
The “closed” bit means that if you have not signed up to join, then you risk being EXCLUDED ALTOGETHER and could incur costs of your own if you later try and join.
So if the case proceeds as a “closed” class action and we won the case and a person/business had NOT signed up before the deadline, THEN THEY WOULD NOT BE IN A POSITION TO TAKE ANY SHARE OF THE MONEY ACHIEVED IN THE CASE, no matter what THEIR loss may have been.
I have noticed the skipper/deckie numbers of people who have already signed up are fairly low. I expect that means that many of those guys do not know if they are eligible or how to register.
For boat/licence holders – a skipper/deckie claim is completely separate from your own claim.
If you have used skippers or deckies in the past, then please consider passing this information onto them and tell them they should consider if they want to join.
For anyone else, just have the conversation when next dealing with anyone in the industry.
- HAVE YOU SIGNED UP TO THE WHITE SPOT DISEASE CLASS ACTION YET?
- IF NOT, RING CHRIS THOMPSON ON 0409 517 587 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org AND HE WILL GIVE YOU THE INFO YOU NEED TO consider to JOIN
This is everyone’s chance to take on the Government for losses suffered with a fully funded NO WIN NO FEE legal case.
WHITESPOT DISEASE CLASS ACTION – PORT MEETINGS – 5 May 2021 UPDATE
Don’t forget, the Scarborough port meeting is on this Friday.
Friday 7 May 2021 – 12pm – Waters Edge 11 Bird O Passage Parade, Scarborough (next to Morgans)
Actually tea and biscuits at this one, so should be a big one!
For the Hemmant area for Friday 14 May 2021, I previously forgot to give an actual start time for that meeting. It is 12 pm as well.
Friday 14 May 2021 – 12pm – Murarrie Community Hall – 10 Queensport Road Sth Murarrie
Don’t panic if you can’t attend – just shoot me an email or contact my office.
WHITESPOT DISEASE CLASS ACTION – PORT MEETINGS – 29 April 2021 UPDATE
The major law firm CLYDE & CO, that will be doing the legal work on the class action, has provided their “Conditional Costs Agreement” that is attached here.
CLYDE & CO are partly funding the Class Action with the Funder. ALL on a NO WIN NO FEE basis.
For any person that wishes to join the class action, you will also have to sign and return , this Conditional Costs Agreement.
I will have copies at the Port Meetings and do my best to answer any queries you may have.
WHITESPOT DISEASE – PORT MEETINGS – 22 April 2021 UPDATE
It’s full steam ahead now! See below for the initial Port Meeting dates in your area.
I met on Zoom with the funding team from Omni Bridgeway and also with Clyde & Co Lawyers last Friday and I now have the go ahead to commence the Port Meetings to explain to you all how things are to proceed.
First step is the SIGN UP.
This Class Action is intended to be a “CLOSED CLASS”. That means if you do not sign up, then you are not part of it at all.
You are getting this email as you previously signed up your interest in the case back in around 2017, so I know you are all interested. I know there are heaps more fishers and processors/wholesalers that did not register their interest when you did a few years ago. Please speak to anyone you know who may have been impacted and get them to come along to one of the port Meetings. That includes skippers, deckies and anyone leasing a licence.
MY MESSAGE IS SIMPLE – If you want to take the Government on and have the best opportunity to claim back your losses for WHITE SPOT DISEASE (WSD) being allowed into the fishery, then you need to sign up quickly.
Please pass this email onto anyone you think might have suffered a loss from WSD.
INITIAL PORT MEETINGS TIME/LOCATION
REDLAND BAY AREA
Friday 30 April 2021 – 12pm – VICTORIA POINT COMMUNITY HALL
Friday 7 May 2021 – 12pm – TBA
Friday 14 May 2021 – 12pm – TBA
Please see the link here to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) from the Funder, Omni Bridgeway which explains who they are and how they will be funding this case……https://portal.omnibridgeway.com/docs/default-source/mis/pds-for-mis-prawn-white-spot.pdf?sfvrsn=28e2f95f_2
If you can review the PDS before you attend one of the Port Meetings then that will assist in being able to sign you up.
SPREAD THE WORD – as I know many fishers do not have email (or don’t often read emails).
WHITESPOT DISEASE – 1 April 2021 UPDATE
March has gone by and I have not as yet been given the documentation I need to bring to you and start getting people registered for the Class Action.
The paperwork is complex as you might appreciate, so unfortunately it has taken longer. The Class Action is still happening – literally nothing has changed with that.
I’d imagine everyone has been flat out leading up to Easter with orders in any event. I hope the Palaszczuk lockdown hasn’t impacted you too badly. Let’s pray that gets lifted today.
I am expecting to be on the road in April with the paperwork and providing you with Port Meeting style forums so you know exactly what needs to happen to be a part of this.
Have a good Easter! (depends on the Government’s announcement this morning I guess). Eat some chocolate anyway.
WHITESPOT DISEASE – 25 February 2021 UPDATE
Since my last update on Christmas Eve announcing we secured full litigation funding for you to run this case, the wheels have turned pretty slowly to get the formalities set up.
Part of that process was an exercise with ASIC to set it all up to proceed with the Class Action.
DO NOT PANIC! ASIC confirmed on Tuesday this week the registration of the ‘Scheme’ (as they call it) by the litigation funding company.
THE CASE (WITH FULL FUNDING) IS PROCEEDING!!!!
There has been an enormous amount of very detailed analysis done on the case since WSD was located to secure this full litigation funding for you. We now have the financial fire-power to take this case forward to the courts.
I did hope to have formal documents available by now so I can meet with you to discuss what needs to happen from your end if you want to be a part of the Class Action, however the ASIC process took a little longer than expected. to provide you with the documents to get on board.
I’d expect that to be in March for sure.
I will be in touch once I know the timing of that.
WHITESPOT DISEASE – 24 December 2020 UPDATE – YOU WILL WANT TO READ THIS ONE!
Talk about a late Christmas miracle!
I’m very pleased to let you know that earlier today we secured full financing to bring your case against the Government for their negligence in letting the volume of white spot infected prawns into Australia which saw you all incur significant losses.
This has taken an extraordinary amount of work to get this financial support, but we now have it!
There is a serious case to answer here and we have your back!
Law Essentials will be in contact early in the New Year to update you on documents to sign to formalise your claim.
Have a great Christmas everybody!