Is the Kiwifruit lawsuit falling apart?

Stuff reports:

Two of the five members of a committee leading a claim to sue the Government for negligence over the PSA disease have resigned.

Allan Dawson, the managing director of Katikati coolstore Aongatete and Murray Gibson, a Te Puke accountant, were both part of a five-member committee behind the Kiwifruit Claim.

The claim, backed by a litigation fund, is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over the PSA outbreak in 2010 which caused massive loses to the Bay of Plenty industry.

However, marketing organisations Zespri and a number of other groups have urged growers to think carefully about signing up.

An open letter to Prime Minister John Key opposing the claim, originally sent yesterday, was amended and resent today with the inclusion of Dawson as a signatory.

The vast bulk of the industry is against this claim, which appears to be acting for an international local litigation fund.

Gibson meanwhile resigned last night.

“The feedback I have received from clients in recent days and visits I have made to clients to hear their thoughts give me no choice but to resign. The potential impact on my business and professional reputation is a risk I am not prepared to accept,” Gibson wrote, asking to no longer be referred to in material sent to the media.

It is generally wise to listen to your clients.

Hooton insisted the claim would go ahead, with the statement of claim due to be filed in the Wellington High Court next week.

“This is all going as planned,” he said.

Losing 40% of your claim committee was the plan?

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