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Class Action

Hendra Virus Class Action

If you owned a horse that was administered the Zoetis Equivac HeV vaccine and you suffered financial loss or damage as a result of alleged misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to the information you were provided relating to the HeV vaccine, you may be entitled to register for the Hendra vaccine class action.

What is the Hendra Virus Class Action?

A Class action has been commenced in the Federal Court of Australia by Rachael Abbott (Applicant) against Zoetis Australia Pty Limited (Zoetis). The action has been brought by the Applicant on her own behalf and on the behalf of all persons who satisfy the definition of ‘class member’ in the proceedings.

Zoetis manufactured and marketed the Hendra Equivac HeV vaccine administered to many horses throughout Australia.

The Applicant alleges that in their marketing and promotional material Zoetis have made representations including:

  1. There was a serious risk of horses contracting Hendra virus in all areas of Australia in which flying foxes were present;
  1. The vaccine had no serious side-effects; and
  1. All horses in Australia should be treated with the HeV vaccine

The Applicant also alleges that from 10 August 2012 to 20 March 2018 class member’s horses suffered side effects from the HeV vaccine and as result, the class members suffered loss or damage.

Alleged losses or damages include diminution in the financial value of the horse, veterinary treatment expenses, loss of income generated by the horse, loss of opportunity to gain income from the horse and the replacement value of the horse.

A sample class member, Kellie Hinton has also been identified in relation to a claim that the HeV vaccine was not of an “acceptable quality” within the meaning of section 54(2) of the Australian Consumer Law. This claim is brought by Kellie Hinton on her behalf and on behalf of class members.

Zoetis denies any wrongdoing or liability.

Am I eligible to participate?

You are a class member if, in the period from 10 August 2012 to 20 March 2018, you are a person or entity who suffered loss or damage as result of Zoetis’s alleged conduct.

What steps do I need to take to complete this registration form?

As part of the registration, you will be asked to provide information on the following:

  • Details of your horse/s that were injected with the HeV product; and
  • The side-effects experienced by the horse/s;

In order for LHD to represent you in the class action, you will be asked to enter a Retainer and Cost Agreement with LHD Lawyers. In order to enter into the agreement, you will be asked to electronically accept the terms of the agreement.  A copy of the full agreement will then be provided to you as part of the registration process.

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your registration. If you do not receive this email within 48 hours, please call LHD Lawyers on 02 9264 6644 or email to confirm your registration.

Cooling Off Period

Group members have a cooling off period of 5 days from the date of acceptance of the Retainer and Cost Agreement. This enables you to seek external legal advice, discuss any questions, negotiate the terms of the agreement or withdraw from the agreement.

Following registration, you will receive timely notification of any relevant disclosures in respect to the case:

Alternatively, you can opt out of the proceedings at any time, though you may not opt-in again.

How Much Will I Have to Pay?

LHD is conducting the Hendra Class Action on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. We believe that providing legal services in this way provides those affected with access to justice.

Registration in the Hendra Class Action will not expose you to any out of pocket costs. Unless and until there is a successful outcome, all costs incurred will be carried by LHD Lawyers.

Register Your Details

Please fill out your details below. One of our team will be in touch shortly to discuss your case.

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What is a class action claim?
A class action is a court proceeding where the claims of a large group or “class” of persons are brought by one representative against the same respondent. We have commenced such a proceeding in the Federal Court against Zoetis.

The Court will require that all potential class members are notified of the action, their right to opt-out and the process for doing so. If a class member chooses to opt-out, they will no longer be bound by the outcome of the proceedings. In the alternative, for those who wish to be part of the proceedings, a registration form will be completed by the class member.

We anticipate the opt-out process will be undertaken in the next 3-6 months and we suggest you look to our website for further updates.

Once the class is defined, the case will be run in two parts; liability and damages. The liability file is run with the lead Applicant. Once the issue of liability has been overcome we will contact each group member to put together their individual damages claim.
Who are the proceedings against?
We have commenced proceedings against Zoetis Australia Pty Limited as the manufacturer of the HeV Product.
What will it cost me if any legal proceedings are not successful?

Under the terms of our retainer, we act on a no-win, no-fee basis so if we are not successful in establishing that the respondent is liable for damages then we will not charge any fees to you.

Further, if you are a class member only and not the Lead Applicant, an adverse costs order cannot be made directly against you in respect of the class action.
Can I change my mind and decide not to participate?

There is a 5 day cooling off period under the Retainer and Costs Agreement which stipulates that you may terminate the agreement by providing notice in writing.

Alternatively, you can opt-out of the proceedings at any time though you may not opt-in again.
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