The Earthquake Commission (EQC) and Shine Lawyers have reached an agreement with “test case” homeowners, agreeing to cover the repair costs of the remaining earthquake damage on the property.
The case, a group action known as “JS Gibling and others vs the Earthquake Commission,” was supposed to be heard in the High Court on August 26.
However, a settlement had already been reached between the EQC and the Gibling family – the first settlement under the government’s resolution that allows Canterbury homeowners to apply for an ex-gratia payment so they can repair their earthquake-damaged homes.
“We are pleased that we have been able to make this offer to the Gibling family thanks to the new Government policy that was announced last week,” said Renée Walker, deputy chief executive at EQC.
“The Government policy means we are now able to offer a solution to homeowners who previously had an uninsured gap between policy or act entitlement, and the cost to repair their property. This has enabled us to not only settle the Gibling case, but also agree a framework for settling the 54 other cases currently registered with Shine.”
Angela Parlane, managing director of Shine Lawyers, said they’re grateful that they were able to reach a settlement with EQC without going through the trial.
“Many of our clients faced financial ruin due to the unrepaired damage on their houses, and we now have a process underway for these people to be compensated. It’s fantastic that we have been able to achieve this without the need for a three-week court trial and we look forward to bring closure for our clients so they can move on with their lives,” Parlane said.
“While we have settled without the need for a formal judgment, we are happy that our clients will receive their full legal entitlement, and often cases like this are settled without admissions of liability.”
Details of the settlement are confidential for commercial and privacy reasons.