A group of homeowners, represented by Shine Lawyers New Zealand, who launched a “test case” in the Christchurch High Court, against The Earthquake Commission (“EQC”), will finally be compensated.
“The group issued proceedings to determine whether EQC owed them a duty of care as subsequent owners of on-sold properties, following the 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes that took lives and damaged homes,” said Shine Lawyers NZ Managing Director, Angela Parlane.
The group of litigants reached an ‘in-principle’ resolution in 2019, just before their case was scheduled to be heard in the High Court, but the finer details had not been resolved until now.
As a result of their litigation, the government launched a scheme where owners of on-sold properties could enter a process to have their houses fixed. Since then, the parties represented by Shine Lawyers have been finalising the terms of their resolution.
“Each homeowner involved in the test case had purchased a home in Christchurch that had been either inadequately inspected, scoped or repaired by EQC. Many of these homeowners had relied upon certificates of completion of repairs signed off by EQC when purchasing their homes,” said Ms Parlane.
“The proceeding was launched by the late Andrew Hooker of Shine Lawyers, in 2017, who had the ambition of helping out homeowners who had been left in the lurch by EQC.”
“After Andrew’s sad passing, Shine Lawyers pressed forward with this legacy case to pursue fair outcomes for the people we represented,” said Ms Parlane.
“Many of the home owners in our group could not afford to pay their mortgages let alone legal fees so Andrew Hooker had the foresight to approach Australian Litigation funder, Litigation Lending Services Limited, to provide funding for the court case. After nearly three years we now have a resolution for the homeowners we represent.”
The final agreement was reached on Friday 1 May by Shine Lawyers, who have represented hundreds of Cantabrians in claims against EQC and insurance companies across Christchurch.
“Christchurch was badly damaged by the 6.3 magnitude earthquake nine years ago. The sequence of earthquakes and devastation in Christchurch is still being felt almost a decade later by many of the homeowners we represent” said, Ms Parlane
“Many people were left with no choice but to pursue legal help to be properly compensated for their losses.”
“Shine Lawyers worked tirelessly to obtain resolutions for its clients by launching the test case against EQC. It is great that our clients can finally move forward.”
“Last year the pressure of that court case resulted in EQC implementing a process for owners of homes with botched repairs to get their houses fixed.”
“It has taken several months of negotiations to iron out the finer details for our clients and now this has been achieved. Our clients now look forward to receiving the compensation they deserve, and having their homes fixed,”
“This will be a huge relief for our clients as we come out of the Covid-19 Level 3 Alert lockdown, and a positive step towards a fresh start for the long-suffering victims of this tragedy,” said Ms Parlane.
For more information
For Media Enquiries Contact: Angela Parlane 021 558499 [email protected]