BY DANIEL WILLS
VICTIMS of the Adelaide Hills bushfires who lost their homes or other property could have grounds for a class action against anyone found to have started the blaze, a leading lawyer says.
DBH Lawyers managing partner Peter Humphries, who led a class action that included the families of nine people who died in the 2005 Port Lincoln fires, has told The Advertiser a similar legal bid may be possible in the wake of the weekend’s destruction.
Police are investigating the cause of the Hills fire, which has claimed at least 12 homes and as many as 32, and dozens of animals, and have focused attention on an incinerator located on private property.
Mr Humphries said anyone found to have caused a fire through negligence could be held liable and their insurance company hit for up to $20 million in damages payable to the victims. “There will undoubtedly be … (an) inquiry, and if that inquiry establishes that fire was caused through a negligent act, then there would be the possibility of a claim,” he said.