Australian court approves record compensation payout to wildfire victims

December 23, 2014 2:41 AM

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Australian court approves record compensation payout to wildfire victims

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian court has approved a record payout of almost A$500 million ($406 million) to survivors and families of some of the 173 people killed in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, the country's worst-ever natural disaster.

A class action lawsuit by more than 5,000 people sued electricity provider AusNet Services and asset manager Utility Services Corporation Ltd after a Royal Commission found that the Kinglake fire, the most deadly of the series of wildfires, was caused by an aging AusNet power line.

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