Victoria’s biggest civil trial settles for $500m

The Supreme Court has announced that “[a]fter more than 200 court sitting days, testimony from 100 expert and lay witnesses and in excess of 10,000 case documents admitted to evidence, Victoria’s biggest civil trial—the Kilmore East-Kinglake Black Saturday bushfire class action—has reached a settlement.” The settlement of $500 million will need to be approved by the court to ensure a fair process for dividing up the funds between more than 10,000 members of the class action group. The plaintiffs argued that the negligence of power companies and the State government exacerbated the impact of the bushfire. Despite the settlement, the defendants deny responsibility.