Two new multimillion-dollar disputes over flammable cladding have hit the Victorian courts, the latest in a slew of litigation over who is to blame for incorporating the deadly materials into apartment buildings.
One lawyer whose firm specialises in insurance law and litigation said there had been increased scrutiny of the construction industry – and a corresponding increase in litigation – since Sydney's Opal Tower cracking saga, February’s Lacrosse legal decision and another cladding fire at a high-rise in Spencer Street.
“There appears to be greater awareness of, and concern over, the cladding used in the construction of [residential] buildings," said lawyer Hubert Wajszel, a principal at national firm Barry Nilsson.
Mr Wajszel warned that, unless a workable solution was developed to help building owners affected by flammable cladding, "there will be a wave of litigated claims”. He said state and federal governments needed to "seriously consider funding, or at least defraying, the cost of rectifying what is a significant public issue”.