Southern Response class action revived

by Allie Sanchez 19 Oct 2016

Southern Response class action revived

A group of 40 complainants are back in the Christchurch High Court today to revive their class suit against state-owned Southern Response.

Judge Mander initially rejected the motion, which alleged that Southern Response consistently delayed earthquake house repairs and under-estimated claims because of a lack of commonality of interest, in December last year.

The group filed a new complaint which alleges, amongst other things, that Southern Response: misrepresented the nature of its obligations and claimants’ rights; understated the repair work required; offered cash settlements that were not commensurate to the assessed cost of the work in question; and delayed responses to the policy holders’ claims.

The lawyer for the complainants, Grant Cameron, said the group was optimistic that the court would grant their application and a class action would commence by next year.

"To date, policyholders have not been able to get court assistance as, individually; they don’t have the money to engage experts or lawyers, or to engage in lengthy litigation. Therefore, the court has not been an option.

“However, with the support of a litigation funder we think policyholders may for the first time, get access to justice and effective remedies," he said.

The High Court will hear the case in Christchurch today.
 

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