What is a class action?
A class action occurs when the shareholders in a company get into a dispute with other members of the company, in particular the board of directors. The types of legal claims which a class action is usually based on are breach of directors duties, misleading and deceptive conduct in trade or commerce or an action based on the obligations of directors under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Other types of class actions can also result from workers compensation or aspestos claims, or claims against drug companies by patients who have suffered adverse effects as a result of the use of the drug. Some of the most important class actions in operation in Australia today are claims like the VIOXX claim which related to the production of a drug that caused heart failure in some patients. There is also a large class action on behalf of the shareholders of Telstra and a series of current class actions relating to the collapse of Westpoint. Some other companies which have become involved in recent class actions include Babcock and Brown Power which has a group of shareholders claiming that the board of the company misled them over the true value of the company during the global financial crisis.
What are some of the class actions in motion at the moment?
Indeed, the global financial crisis created a number of situations which were ripe for shareholder class actions such as the collapse of Centro Property Group, Fincorp, Allco, Opes Prime and Storm Financial. In some cases, litigation against the advisers who said that it would be wise to invest in companies like this because they were paid paid a comission to give this advice have also been sued en masse by thier clients and if they were a listed investment vehicle, their shareholders. Some other companies which have attracted class actions have been GPT property group, Bell Potter Securities Ltd because of events which transpired during the global financial crisis. If you think that you may wish to begin a shareholder class action, you can chat to one of our lawyers online now or drop us a line with the contact form.