Southern Response Class Action (SRCA) is back in court on Wednesday seeking an order that their class action may proceed. The group of 40, accuses Southern Response (which is owned by the Government) of consistently delaying earthquake house repairs, and of under-estimating claims.

On 16 December 2015 the group applied for a ‘representative order’ but earlier this year Judge Mander rejected that application, suggesting more evidence of a commonality of interest was needed. The group’s new claim highlights the allegation that the insurer’s strategy is to minimise its liability by using the following tactics:

  • Misrepresenting the nature of Southern Response’s obligations and the claimants’ rights;
  • understating the extent of the work required, and the cost of undertaking that work;
  • offering cash settlements significantly below the actual assessed cost of undertaking the work in question;
  • assuming control of the rebuilding and repair work, so it could minimise the cost to it of the required work;
  • unreasonably delaying in responding to and meeting the claims of the claimants;
  • adopting various other stances designed to reduce its liabilities;
  • inducing “settlements” of the claims for significantly reduced amounts; and
  • undertaking sub-standard repair work.

SRCA lawyer Grant Cameron says the group has strong expectations the court will grant their application and a class action will proceed in 2017.

“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”.

The hearing is set for 10am on Wednesday, 19 October at the High Court in Christchurch. For further information please contact: GRANT CAMERON 027 432 3066.

Tags Southern Response Media Grant Cameron press release SRCA Class Action