Case Update: A class action regarding PE core combustible cladding led by IMF Bentham and William Roberts Lawyers has now been filed in the Federal Court of Australia
Property owners affected by PE core cladding of all brands, including Alucobond, should continue to register their interest
SYDNEY, 15 February 2019: Further to our press release on 30 October 2018 advising the intention to pursue a class action regarding PE core combustible cladding affixed to buildings in Australia, IMF Bentham Limited (ASX:IMF) and William Roberts Lawyers announce a Class Action has now been filed in the Federal Court of Australia (in Sydney). This class action is a product liability claim against the manufacturers of Alucobond PE cladding products. See ASX Announcement, here.
We are continuing to investigate possible class actions against other manufacturers in relation to other cladding products.
Since October 2018, many property owners across Australia have been actively registering their interest in participating in the class action. This affirms the widespread impact of the PE core cladding problem and desire for compensation.
Property owners should continue to register their interest in joining the current class action and possible future combustible cladding class actions, at www.imf.com.au/cladding.
The current class action
The current class action is open to property owners and long-term lease-holders who have suffered or will suffer financial loss due to the need to remove and replace Alucobond PE cladding products, or take other remedial measures.
This class action seeks compensation for property owners of residential, commercial, mixed-use, and other non-residential buildings throughout Australia on which there is certain Alucobond aluminum composite panel cladding, with a core comprised wholly or substantially of polyethylene.
How do owners know if their building is affected?
Unfortunately, many owners do not know if their building’s cladding is non-compliant and expert advice may be needed to determine the answer. We are encouraging owners to continue to register even if they do not have Alucobond PE cladding products on their building or if they do not know what cladding they have.
IMF Bentham is providing funding for building experts retained by William Roberts who can assess buildings to determine the type and brand of cladding (at no cost to owners unless there is a recovery), once owners register with IMF Bentham at www.imf.com.au/cladding and enter into IMF’s funding agreement and sign William Roberts’ retainer and costs agreement. If it turns out to be a cladding product that is not eligible to participate in the class action to be conducted by William Roberts and funded by IMF, there is no cost or penalty for the owners.
In Melbourne, the ‘Lacrosse’ tower, a 23-storey mixed-use building (comprising residential & commercial lots) suffered a potentially fatal fire after its combustible cladding caught fire on 25 November 2014. In London, cladding on the ‘Grenfell’ tower caught fire on 14 June 2017, resulting in loss of lives and property.
Although governments across Australia are now identifying affected buildings and restricting and prohibiting certain PE core cladding, responsibility for replacing PE core cladding on existing buildings largely rests with property owners. For strata schemes, responsibility will fall to Owners Corporations to take action (with potential liability if they fail to act).
About William Roberts Lawyers
William Roberts is a dynamic and innovative law firm with a focus on dispute resolution and litigation, with significant expertise in class actions and accredited specialists in building and construction. The firm has offices across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Singapore.