The government also wants to ensure that class members receive at least 70 percent of any payout.
The High Court has said CFOs cannot be granted early in the case, but doubts remain as to whether a CFO can be part of a final settlement.
Beach J. suggested that the class action lawsuit against Stanwell Corporation and CS Energy, which is funded by LCM with Stillwater Pastoral Company as the principal plaintiff, should not be considered a “closed group” involving approximately 50,000 parties, which would prevent others from later joining the claim.
The judge made the comments Wednesday as he rejected an offer by Stanwell to strike the claim on the grounds that it was an unregistered managed investment and in violation of laws passed in 2020. He found that the claim was pending before the changes.
“Let me say now that we should not assume that I will allow the proceedings to take place behind closed doors,” Justice Beach said.
“This is not just a commercial class action lawsuit where investors seek to recoup the value of their investments. Rather, this is a case where the extent of these power generators’ alleged gambling strategies hurt all electricity consumers in Queensland.
“The procedure is a paradigmatic case that should be opened. “
Judge Beach said he doubted “all consumers have been informed or have had the opportunity to sign up” and that the case “dispels the myth of the so-called benefits of building books in a case of this guy “.
“Useless, expensive and inefficient”
“Building the books here resulted in an unnecessary, costly and inefficient seven-month delay in having over 50,000 retail clients signed separately for individual funding agreements.
“There is little justification for such a barrier to entry, so to speak, or to justice.
“Fourth, allowing the proceedings to remain closed will prompt others to launch parasitic actions to cover the balance of the universe of electricity consumers. “
He said it could be “almost inevitable if I later pass judgment in favor of the current closed class, unless I open the class after the judgment.”
“And if then, why not now?” Indeed, why should the residual universe of consumers benefit from asymmetry at this stage? They should now be subject to potential risks and rewards, subject to any opt-out rights. “