Federal Court sets date for BI class actions restart
21 November 2022
The Federal Court has scheduled a case management hearing for class actions triggered by covid-related business interruption disputes.
Chief Justice James Allsop will preside at the hearing on December 6, after four matters were put on hold while High Court leave to appeal applications were decided in the industry test case.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) second test case largely favoured insurers but Slater & Gordon says it involved only a limited claims sample and it considers cover is available under both infectious disease clauses and hybrid clauses in certain circumstances.
“We believe that the class actions have a role in enabling the efficient resolution of the claims of thousands of businesses who have suffered significant losses as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns,” Class Actions Associate Ruby Haynes told insuranceNEWS.com.au.
Slater & Gordon has filed CMC Hospitality v Insurance Australia; and Vicki Field Swim School v Hollard, while Gordon Legal has filed in Cody Gemtec Retail t/as the National Opal Collection v the underwriting members of Syndicate 2003 at Lloyd’s; and Strand Fitness & ors v QBE.
Gordon Legal Commercial Law Partner James Naughton says issues include how claims will be determined for some businesses affected by local or site-specific lockdown orders, such as in metropolitan Melbourne in July 2020.
“In addition, there are still several live questions about how those businesses with viable claims will be permitted to quantify their losses, which may be resolved through the class actions,” he said.