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Victoria sued for negligence in hotel quarantine program

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Business owners have filed a class action against Victoria, accusing the state and key ministers in the Andrews Government of “negligence” in relation to the botched hotel quarantine program that led to the stage four lockdown in Melbourne and restrictions in regional areas.

The business owners in the Hotel Quarantine Class Action want compensation for losses they have suffered because of the trading curbs, a statement from class actions law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan says.

The state of Victoria is named as the first defendant in the legal action that was filed earlier this month in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos, Minister for the Co-ordination of Jobs, Precincts and Regions Martin Pakula and secretaries from the two departments are the other defendants in the class action.

“The plaintiff alleges that these ministers and secretaries were negligent in their actions and/or failures to act concerning the hotel quarantine program,” Quinn Emmanuel says. “The plaintiff also alleges that the State of Victoria is vicariously liable for the negligence of the ministers and secretaries referred to above.”

5 Boroughs NY, which runs a New York-themed restaurant in Melbourne’s north-west Keilor Park, is the lead plaintiff.

Quinn Emanuel Partner Damien Scattini told today the second Melbourne lockdown “pole-axed” many business owners.

“These businesses, many of them mum-and-dad operations, need help now,” he said. “As things stand, there is no plan for them. The class action provides a path to compensation for losses that were beyond their control and not brought about by them.

“We have been contacted by many businesses, across the spectrum from pubs, gyms, retail, sporting facilities and professional services, who have been pole-axed by the second lockdown.”

Quinn Emanuel says fees for the class action will not be payable unless there is a successful resolution of the lawsuit.