Supreme Court News: Norfolk and Chance bring a class action against the Richmond Football Club

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA

AT MELBOURNE

CLASS ACTION LIST

Court No. That Big One Please

 

BETWEEN:

RICHARD TETLEY SMITH & OTHERS Plaintiff

– and –

RICHMOND FOOTBALL CLUB LTD Defendant

STATEMENT OF CLAIM

Date of document: 29 May 2009

Filed on behalf of: The Plaintiff

Prepared by:

NORFOLK & CHANCE Solicitor’s Code: 123456

Lawyers & Consultants Tell: Everyone

1 Mongrel Punt Road Fax: As Many as You Can

Richmond Vic 3121 Ref: No, Umpire

1. The Plaintiff is and was at all relevant times a member of the Richmond Football Club.

 

2. The Plaintiff sues on his own behalf and on behalf of those classes of persons who in

reliance on the representations alleged herein –

(a) purchased memberships of the Richmond Football Club;

(b) purchased Richmond Football Club merchandise;

(c) attended matches in which the Richmond Football Club has played and

incurred expense in connection therewith; and

(d) placed wagers with the TAB, corporate bookmakers such as Betfair, Luxbet and

Sportingbet, and other bookmakers.

 

3. The Defendant is and was at all relevant times –

(a) a duly registered corporation;

(b) the operator of the Richmond Football Club (“the Tigers”);

(c) a member of the Australian Football League (“AFL”);

(d) engaged in trade and commerce; and

(e) a trading corporation for the purposes of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (“the Act”).

 

4. At all relevant times the Defendant employed Terry Wallace (“Wallace”) as its coach.

 

5. At about the commencement of the 2009 AFL Premiership home and away football

season, the Defendant made the following representations (“the Representations”) in

trade or commerce –

(a) Wallace’s position as coach was safe for the 2009 season;

(b) Richmond had set itself to play in the finals in 2009;

(c) the Tigers were ready to break a finals drought which had stretched from 2001

(but fair dinkum, ostensibly from 1982);

(d) Richmond would play the sort of football it played at the end of 2008;

(e) Ben Cousins was mentally and physically fit for his AFL comeback;

(f) Ben Cousins’s history of substance abuse would not have any impact in terms of

fatiguing or causing extra problems;

(g) Richmond Football Club would put on a great display for its supporters in 2009;

(h) Richmond would finish higher on the ladder than it did in 2008; and

(i) in 2009, the Tigers would improve at all levels.

 

6. Each of the representations related to a future matter.

 

7. The plaintiff relies upon s 51A of the Act and says that the defendant had no

reasonable grounds for making the representations.

 

8. In reliance on the representations and induced thereby the plaintiff and the members

of the classes alleged in paragraph 2 hereof –

(a) purchased memberships of the Richmond Football Club;

(b) purchased football cards;

(c) purchased Richmond Football Club team posters;

(d) purchased other merchandise, such as Richmond guernseys and fridge

magnets;

 

(e) attended matches in which the Richmond Football Club has played and

incurred expenses in connection therewith; and

(f) placed wagers with the TAB, corporate bookmakers such as Betfair, Luxbet and

Sportingbet, and other bookmakers in connection with the results of AFL

matches involving Richmond.

 

9. In consequence of the foregoing, the plaintiff and the classes referred to in paragraph 2

hereof have suffered loss and damage.

Particulars

(a) Cost of memberships.

(b) Cost of merchandise, such as football cards, team posters and fridge magnets.

(c) Cost of attending matches and incidental expenses incurred in connection

therewith, including train fares, donations to the Salvation Army, purchase of

Richmond Cheer Squad raffle tickets, Herald Sun newspaper, Football Record,

pies, chips, beer, Kleenex tissues and psychiatric counselling fees.

(d) The lost opportunity to place winning bets at the TAB and with bookmakers in

connection with AFL games.

 

AND THE PLAINTIFF CLAIMS:

 

A. Damages and Punitive Damages.

 

B. Alternatively, an order that the Defendant specifically perform and carry into execution

its Representations and Warranties in so far as they remain unperformed by the

Defendant.

 

C. Penalty Interest.

 

D. Costs.

 

E. Other or further relief as the Court deems fit.

 

Dated: 29 May 2009

…………………………………

Norfolk & Chance

Solicitors for the Plaintiff

Comments

  1. Kew See says:

    I have considered the arguments submitted, and have decided that the Plaintiffs would be very hard pressed to win any independent arbitrator’s sympathies for the following reasons:

    1. There was no intenttion to create legal relations;
    2. In the alternative, the Defendant’s performance of any obligations owed
    was frustrated by some shocking decisions that went against us in the first 4 rounds, the terrible sternum injury to Adam Thomson and the general “bounce of the ball”;
    3. A defence noting the Plaintiff’s voluntary assumption of risk would be very persuasive; and
    4. We hear the same thing every year, so the requisite detrimental reliance could not be evidenced.

  2. If it wasn’t for these arseclowns beating Freo I’d have had 8 winners for the second time in 2 weeks..

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