March 28 Update on Bonsoy Class Action

I’ve received an update on the class action from the lawyers, here we go!

There was a case management conference/directions hearing on 11 March 2011. Everything there was done by consent and we now have a timetable for the next few months.

Where the proceeding is basically at is:

  • We filed our statement of claim.
  • Spiral filed their defence.
  • There are no challenges to either of those documents or to the action going ahead as a class action.
  • Spiral also brought proceedings against two japanese companies – the manufacturer and exporter of Bonsoy. What Spiral is trying to do there is, if it is found liable to those harmed by Bonsoy, it wants to recover all or some of the damages it will have to pay from those Japanese companies. That’s a proceeding between Spiral and those companies, we are not involved in it, although it will probably run in parallel with our action.
  • On Friday we will publish what is known as an “opt out” notice in various newspapers around Australia. It’s part of the class actions regime. It lets people know there is a class action on foot and allows them to leave or “opt out” of the class action if they want to. If a person opts out, they will not be bound by the result of the class action (and so will NOT be entitled to any benefit from the class action) but will be able to bring their own proceedings. The important bit there is, if a person wants to stay in the class action they don’t have to do anything. It is only if they don’t want to be part of it that they have to take a step and send in a document to the Court. Staying in the action doesn’t involve any costs or risks.
    That’s all explained in the notice itself.
  • There have also been orders made for some initial discovery – basically and exchange of relevant documents – that’s supposed to happen in mid-April.
  • After that we can go back to Court for further directions.
  • There’s going to be an update letter going out [Ed: covering the opt-out and other items].

Stay tuned for more news.