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Class Action

Hendra Virus Class Action

If you owned a horse that was administered the Zoetis Equivac HeV Vaccine that has died, had to be euthanised or developed severe side effects, as a result, we want to hear from you.

What is the Hendra Virus Class Action?

LHD have commenced a class action in the Federal Court of Australia against Zoetis Australia Pty Limited (Zoetis).

Zoetis manufactured and marketed the Hendra HeV Equivac Vaccine which was administered to horses throughout Australia.

In their marketing and promotional material Zoetis have made representations including;

  1. The vaccine was free from serious adverse side effects;
  2. There is a high risk to horses of contracting the Hendra virus particulalry in areas outside the eastern seaboard of Queensland and the north-eastern corner of New South Wales
  3. There is a high risk to humans of contracting the Hendra virus, particularly in areas outside the eastern seaboard of Queensland and the north-eastern corner of New South Wales

In the Further Amended Statement of Claim filed 4 June 2019 we contend that many horses suffered serious adverse side effects which Zoetis failed to give warning of, including death.

We further contend that the risk of horses and humans contracting Hendra, particularly in areas outside the eastern seaboard of Queensland and the north-eastern corner of New South Wales, is very low.

By failing to give warning of the side effects of the HeV vaccine and by overstating the risk to horses and humans of the risk of contracting Hendra, particularly in areas outside the eastern seaboard of Queensland and the north-eastern corner of New South Wales, horse owners were not given the opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to inoculate their horses with the HeV vaccine.

This means that many horses were inoculated unnecessarily and have suffered serious adverse side effects as a result of the inoculation.

These adverse side effects have resulted in financial diminution in the value of the horse, treatment expenses, loss of income, loss of opportunity to gain income, replacement value of the horse and, in some cases, personal injury suffered by the owner of the horse/s.

Am I eligible to participate?

If you owned a vaccinated horse that has died, had to be euthanised and or developed severe symptoms as a result of the inoculation of the vaccine, you may be able to join the Hendra Vaccine Class Action as a “Group Member”. 

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 potential 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 mhgroup@lhd.com.au 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?
Nothing.

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?
Yes.

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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