Australian Combustible Cladding Class Actions

IMPORTANT NOTICE APPROVED BY THE FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA


Further information in relation to the Australian Combustible Cladding Class Actions

Omni Bridgeway (formerly IMF Bentham) and William Roberts Lawyers are working together to investigate and bring viable claims for compensation, on behalf of persons and entities with proprietary interests in buildings in Australia, on which there is installed certain types of aluminium composite panel cladding with a combustible core comprised wholly or substantially of polyethylene (PE).  These persons and entities are the owners, owners corporations and leaseholders of buildings affected by PE core cladding.

To learn more about the Combustible Cladding Class Actions, please listen to our podcast here.

The current class actions

Alucobond Products

This first court proceeding (Alucobond Combustible Cladding Class Action) is a product liability claim and a claim for false or misleading representations and misleading conduct against 3A Composites GmbH and Halifax Vogel Group Pty Limited (Respondents). The Respondents are the manufacturers of Alucobond PE core cladding products. If you have a building with Alucobond PE core cladding products, such as those marketed under the names Alucobond PE and Alucobond Plus, you are encouraged to register your interest - obligation free (see How to Participate in the Class Actions below).

Vitrabond Products

The second court proceeding (Vitrabond Combustible Cladding Class Action) is a product liability claim and a claim for false or misleading representations and misleading conduct against Fairview Architectural Pty Limited (Fairview). Fairview is the manufacturer of Vitrabond PE core cladding products. If you have a building with Vitrabond PE core cladding products, such as those marketed under the names Vitrabond PE or Vitrabond FR (or believe that you may have), you are encouraged to register. 
On 25 May 2020, the Federal Court of Australia made orders for an important notice to be provided to class members in the Vitrabond Combustible Cladding Class Action. This Court approved notice can be found above and here.

Other possible class actions

We are continuing to investigate possible class actions against other manufacturers in relation to other PE core cladding products.

The current class actions will not necessarily be restricted to buildings with Alucobond PE and Vitrabond PE Core cladding products. Accordingly, if you have a building with PE core cladding that is not Alucobond or Vitrabond branded, you are also encouraged to register your interest - obligation free (see How to Participate in the Class Actions below).

The law firm which is conducting the prosecution of the current class actions, William Roberts Lawyers will assess whether or not your building may be eligible to participate in one or the other of the current class actions or any possible future class action.

It is not proposed that any entities other than certain manufacturers of PE core cladding be sued in the current class actions or any future class action.

Compensation to be recovered

The main compensation to be sought for affected persons and entities is the amount that represents the cost of replacing the PE core cladding with suitable cladding or other material, together with all associated costs. Other losses that may be claimed include, but are not limited to, the cost to make the building fire safe where the cladding can remain on the building and the loss suffered from a devaluation of the affected property.

To participate in one or the other of the current class actions, it is not necessary for any rectification costs to have been actually incurred in relation to the PE core cladding on the building.

Background

PE core cladding is often used for the purposes of aesthetics to act as a cover for part or all of the external walls of a building. The principal issue with the use of PE core cladding on buildings is that the polyethylene core is highly combustible.

The safety risk associated with the use of PE core cladding in buildings, especially multi-storey buildings is now well known. A number of fires around the world have drawn attention to this issue. Two such devastating examples are the Lacrosse building fire in Melbourne on 25 November 2014, and more recently and poignantly the Grenfell Tower fire in London on 14 June 2017.

How to participate in the Alucobond PE and Plus Cladding Class Action or any possible future combustible cladding class actions

You can register your interest in the Alucobond Combustible Cladding Class Action or any possible future combustible cladding class actions via the Omni Bridgeway website by clicking here. We appreciate that you may not know all the information about the cladding on your building at this stage. If you believe you have Alucobond PE core cladding products or other PE core cladding products, but are unsure, we encourage you to register. There is no out of pocket cost or liability incurred by you even if it turns out that your building is not fitted with the cladding type required to make a claim in any of the class actions.

Registration is free and without obligation. Once you have registered your interest, you will be sent an information pack that explains the next steps, and contains Omni Bridgeway's Funding Agreement, William Roberts’ Retainer and a Questionnaire for you to sign and complete, if you wish to proceed as a funded client of Omni Bridgeway and William Roberts.

How to participate in the Vitrabond PE and FR Combustible Cladding Class Action

Please see the court approved notice for details, which can be found here. To sign up as a Registered Unrepresented Class Member, please click here.

Important Note – No Obligations by registration

Please note that merely registering your interest in the Alucobond PE and Plus Cladding Class Action or any possible future combustible cladding class actions through this website is not binding in any way and does not constitute acceptance into a contract. If you have any questions, you can contact the Omni Bridgeway Client Liaison Team by email on [email protected] or free call 1800 016 464.


General Strata enquiries

Owners Corporations and individual owners in New South Wales can also obtain more general assistance on other strata issues from the Owners Corporation Network.  OCN is the independent voice of strata owners and a network of ‘owners helping owners’ with experience in strata living.

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