Hardi Australia have failed in a bid to merge two legal actions pending against the company in relation to its Hardi Presidio self-propelled sprayer.
According to the NSW Supreme Court ruling made on the 19th of June, Hardi Australia is the defendant in two substantive proceedings, one currently in the NSW District Court, the other in the NSW Supreme Court.
The ruling said plaintiffs in the District Court case, Anthony and Kristine Good of 'Stradbroke' Cootamundra NSW, had launched proceedings against both Hardi Australia and South West Tractors regarding the purchase of a Presidio 2700 sprayer.
"It is alleged that the representations were misleading and deceptive in contravention of section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law because the Spray Unit did not have a 4WD hydrostatic drive and was a 2013 model," it said.
"Mr and Mrs Good allege that they would not have purchased the spray unit if they had known the true facts. They claim as damages the purchase price of the spray unit together with consequential loss, which includes the loss of a crop."
The ruling said the second case, a class action, would be fought in the Supreme Court by Greenshades Pastoral, on behalf of customers who purchased a Presidio spray unit between April 2013 and December 2018 for use in farming activities.
The ruling said pleaded representations included that Hardi Australia misrepresented spray units in a brochure as rugged and built for demanding conditions, having class leading field performance and flotation and a rear axle which oscillated to maintain traction on all four driving wheels.
"It pleads that Hardi made a number of representations in a brochure relating to the spray units and in a number of advertisements concerning the features of the spray units," the ruling said.
"A case is also pleaded against Hardi in negligence which depends on allegations that Hardi owed a duty of care to group members."
In defence notes filed on the 5th of June against the Greenshades case, Hardi Australia denied any negligence or contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.
Solicitor for the plaintiffs, Rural Law principal Peter Long said the NSW Supreme Court had set October 18 as the cut-off or opt-out for members to commit to the class action, with the hearing set to continue on October 25.
Mr Long said any Presidio owner who wished to know more about those choices should contact his office before that date.
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