Wednesday, August 20, 2014   

Record settlement reached in Aussie wildfire suit
(07-15 14:00)

Survivors of one of Australia's deadliest wildfires are expected to be awarded nearly 500 million Australian dollars ($470 million) in a class action settlement.
The settlement was reached Tuesday and marks the largest such compensation in the nation's history.
The fire killed 119 people and was the biggest of a series of blazes that tore through the southern Australian state of Victoria in 2009. Those fires left 173 people dead and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in just over a single day.
More than 5,000 people joined the class action against electricity provider SP AusNet. They argued the company was negligent because it hadn't maintained its power lines, which sparked the fire. They also sued Utility Services Corporation Ltd, which SP AusNet hired to maintain the lines, and Victoria's government. --AP   
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