Katherine Contamination Class Action

IMF Bentham is unconditionally funding a class action (the Class Action) against the Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Defence) (Commonwealth) in connection with contamination at Katherine, in the Northern Territory. 

What is the Class Action for?

The Class Action relates to contamination from the Commonwealth's use of fire-fighting foam at the RAAF Base Tindal, near Katherine in the Northern Territory (the Site).

It is alleged that the Commonwealth allowed chemicals, within fire-fighting foam, to escape from the Site, causing damage to property owners for which the Commonwealth should be liable to pay compensation.

The Commonwealth has been undertaking an investigation into the extent of the contamination.

Who is conducting the Class Action?

The Class Action is run by Shine Lawyers Limited (ASX: SHS) (Shine), one of Australia's leading litigation companies in the area of environmental class actions. The proceedings are be funded by IMF Bentham Limited (ASX: IMF) (IMF), Australia's largest litigation funder.

Current stage of case

The claim was filed in the Federal Court of Australia (NSW Registry) on 02 August 2018.

How much will it cost to be part of the Class Action?

The Class Action is run on a no win – no fee basis, with costs paid by IMF. This means you won't have to pay any fees unless the claims are successfully resolved and then those fees are deducted from the Resolution Sum.

If the Class Action is unsuccessful and the claims are lost, IMF will pay the Commonwealth's costs, and you will pay nothing.

Am I eligible to participate in the Class Action?

Property owners affected by the contamination, are potentially eligible to participate in the Class Action.

To participate, you must as at 23 November 2016 have been, within the Investigation Area, a property owner in Katherine. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to participate in the Class Action, please contact IMF. 

How to participate in the Class Action

As the class action has been brought on an ‘open class” basis, the class action includes all persons who are eligible to participate in the class action. You do not need to do anything at this time to remain a class member, however, you can register your interest in the Class Action by contacting IMF on the contact details below.

Registration of interest is free and without obligation.

Once you have registered your interest, you'll be sent a registration pack that explains the next steps, and contains IMF's Funding Agreement and Shine's Retainer for you to sign, if you wish to proceed. The Funding Agreement contains some questions about yourself and your property. It may help if you have details of your property at hand before starting.

You may wish to obtain independent legal advice before you sign the Funding Agreement and Shine's Retainer, and IMF encourages you to do so, if you don't understand any aspect of the documents.

How do I find out more about the Class Action?

If you have any questions you can contact the IMF Client Liaison Team by email on [email protected] or by calling
1800 016 464 (tollfree).