On 3 May 2017 Maddens Lawyers issued a class action against Infigen Energy Limited (Infigen) on behalf of land owners affected by the 17 January 2017 Currandooley Fire.
The fire was caused when a crow connected with overhead electrical infrastructure that transfers electricity from Infigen’s Woodlawn Windfarm to a substation at their Capital Wind Farm on the property known as Currandooley, caught alight and dropped into dry foliage underneath the powerline.
The fire burnt approximately 3,400 hectares completely destroying 1 residence, numerous sheds, hundreds of livestock as well as cars, fencing, trees and pasture.
The Statement of Claim Maddens Lawyers have filed on behalf of lead plaintiffs Fred Kuhn and Liz Stewart of Mount Fairy alleges that Infigen was aware of the risk that a bird strike to its high voltage electrical infrastructure could cause a fire. It was aware of numerous previous similar incidents but failed to take appropriate steps to address the risk until after the fire.
Maddens Lawyers explain that the fire could have been avoided by a simple and inexpensive design modification to the configuration of the lines and by institution of the fire mitigation steps that have now been completed post fire.
The Currandooley Fire has been referred to the NSW Coroner who has the power to investigate the cause and origin of fires and to conduct general, broad-ranging inquiries into the circumstances surrounding fires. Maddens Lawyers will seek leave to appear before the Coroner to represent the fire victims in the event that a full coronial inquiry is conducted.
Via an online post on 4 May 2017, Infigen denied any liability in respect of the alleged loss and damage, stating it maintains appropriate insurance but will work with its legal advisers to defend the proceedings.