Blue Mountains Bushfire class action against Endeavour Energy - Day Two

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DAY 2:

Today is the second day - of an expected 50 - of court proceedings. It will be another day of opening statements.

A bushfire that devastated the Blue Mountains hamlets of Winmalee and Springwood in October 2013 was ignited by a rotting wattle tree falling on to uninsulated power lines, the opening day of a class action has heard.

Residents and business owners are suing Endeavour Energy for damages in the NSW Supreme Court, claiming the energy distributor failed to prune or remove a hazardous tree next to a power pole on a property at Linksview Road, Springwood.

In his opening address on Wednesday, barrister for the plaintiffs, Tim Tobin, SC, said "the experience was life threatening and terrifying" for the residents, workers and school students caught up in the fast-moving inferno.

Mr Tobin said Endeavour Energy breached its duty of care to maintain appropriate clearance distance between power lines and vegetation.

DAY 1:

A bushfire class action case against Endeavour Energy will start in the Sydney Supreme Court today.

Residents of Winmalee, Springwood and Yellow Rock lodged the action against Endeavour Energy claiming inadequate maintenance of a tree near powerlines led to the fire that destroyed 200 homes and damaged as many again.

The residents claim the fire started when the poorly-maintained eucalypt fell on electrical conductors in Linksview Road on the afternoon of October 17 in 2013.

On Friday, the presiding Judge, Justice Garling, will visit Linksview Road in Springwood and the surrounding areas affected by the bushfire.

Lead plaintiff in the case is 46-year-old Springwood resident Sean Johnston who lost his home at 109 Buena Vista Road. He will take some personal risk in the case, on behalf of a slew of other bushfire victims.

The lawyer leading the class action, Brendan Pendergast, said the claim is likely to exceed $200 million. More than 150 residents were involved.

Sean Johnston scours the remains of his home in October last year. Photo: David Darcy.

Sean Johnston scours the remains of his home in October last year. Photo: David Darcy.

To make it easier for those interested in the case, the opening submissions in the case will be livestreamed at http://www.supremecourt.justice.nsw.gov.au/.

Witnesses will be called from next week.

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