RETIREMENT village operator Aveo Group (ASX: AOG) has denied taking advantage of its elderly residents following the news that a second law firm may be launching a class action suit against the company.
Maurice Blackburn yesterday became the second firm to announce that it would investigate whether Aveo Group roped its residents into "unfair" and "unconscionable contracts".
Aveo Group CEO Geoff Grady says his company is prepared to stand its ground and deny any allegations that it acted wrongly.
He added that Aveo has, and always will, acted in the best interests of its residents.
"We vigorously deny any suggestion to the contrary and we are confident that we can show that we have at all times met our statutory and other obligations and our commitment to residents," says Grady.
Aveo Group has been under media fire and public scrutiny since June when a joint Four Corners/Fairfax investigation alleged the company engaged in poor practice including the charging of excessive fees through complex residential contracts.
Maddens Lawyers was the first firm to start legal investigations, announcing shortly after the Four Corners episode aired that it was considering a potential class action.
Class action principal at Maurice Blackburn, Brooke Dellavedova, said yesterday that her firm's investigation could be the best avenue for holding Aveo accountable.
"We don't think it's fair or legal to subject elderly people to complex and confusing contracts that contain unfair terms," Ms Dellavedova said.
"If enough people want to take action against Aveo, then we will look to step in and stand up for these people."
Aveo shares have fallen almost 20 per cent since June, and today have dipped a slight 0.6 per cent to trade at $2.45 (at the time of writing, 11:28AM AEST).
Business News Australia
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