Andrews faces multibillion-dollar COVID-19 class action claim

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media on August 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Victoria recorded 116 new COVID-19 cases today, the lowest increase since July 5, and an additional 15 deaths as Australia topped 500 COVID-19 deaths over the weekend. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 24: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media on August 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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The Victorian government is facing a potential class action expected to be to the tune of several billion dollars brought by the businesses that have been shut down during the state’s stage four restrictions.

The class action is open to all Victorian-based businesses that were shut down after 1 July, according to an AFR report, and thousands are expected to take part.

The lawsuit is being launched by Sydney-based law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, who are known for successfully winning a class action against the Queensland Government after the November 2011 floods.

The class action also names Victorian Ministers Jenny Mikakos, Martin Pakula as well as their department secretaries.

The lead plaintiff for the case is the owner of a New York-themed restaurant, Anthony Ferrara, who normally earns tens of thousand dollars a week but is now only open for takeaway and making below $10,000 a week.

“Victorian businesses don’t need charity or kind thoughts from politicians,” Ferrara said.

“We need certainty and we need it soon. Our situation is not our doing. We are calling to account those who put us in this dire position.”

The owner of Melbourne CBD’s The Carlton Club, Windsor Castle and Gertrude Hotel, Tracey Lester, is also expected to join the class action.

Yahoo Finance has contacted Quinn Emanuel and the Victorian Government for comment.

The class action comes as Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg takes aim at Andrews for failing to outline how Victoria will emerge from lockdown.

According to the Treasurer, there are more Aussies in Victoria that are on JobKeeper than the entire country combined.

But Andrews is poised to make an announcement today about how the government can work with the business industry to open up, two weeks away from when the restrictions expire.

More to come.

Source: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/vic-class-action-233952091.html

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