Lyttleton Port settled its insurance claims against its insurers for about $450M for earthquake damage caused by the 4 September 2010 earthquake. It then sued its insurance broker, Aon, claiming a further $170M alleging that Aon was negligent in not obtaining full replacement cover of the Port’s assets without sub limits. Aon joined Colliers and Opus as third parties. Aon also asked the court to join as a third party the Port’s solicitor, Tony Paterson, alleging that he had failed to give advice to the Port about the relevant insurance policy. The High Court twice refused to join Mr Paterson. In Lyttelton Port Company Ltd v Aon New Zealand & Ors  NZHC 2809 the Court granted Aon leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
In Viktor and Beata Ltd v EQC & Tower Insurance Ltd  NZHC 3017 the High Court (Nation J) considered claims for costs by the homeowner and EQC on a claim for earthquake damage to 8 Lamorna Road, Queenspark. The homeowner discontinued the claim against EQC two weeks before the scheduled trial after EQC paid $19,311 for defective EQC repairs, but without EQC paying any more money than it had paid prior to commencement of the proceeding for earthquake damage. The owner then settled with Tower Insurance with Tower paying $25,000 towards costs. The owner sought costs of $24,752.54 from EQC and EQC sought costs of $18,286 from the owner. The Court decided that each party was to some extent unsuccessful so awarded not costs at all.
The Court of Appeal decision in Joint Action Funding Ltd v Eichelbaum  NZCA 249 said that for a person to recover costs under the High Court Rules that person needed to have personally incurred those costs with a lawyer and been invoiced for them by that lawyer. JAFL was concerned with a claim for costs by a barrister acting for himself. Unsuccessful defendants in claims brought via litigation funders have argued since JAFL that because the legal costs are not incurred by the actual party then no costs are recoverable. Fortunately the Supreme Court in McGuire v Secretary for Justice  NZSC 116 has said that JAFL was wrongly decided.
In Fitzgerald & ors v IAG New Zealand Ltd  NZHC 3447 the High Court (Gendall J) considered whether IAG’s proposal to epoxy rubble foundation cracks and jack/pack piles/perimeter to relevel a floor with a differential of 58mm complied with its insurance policy obligation to reinstate the earthquake damaged house to a condition as similar as possible to when it was new. The Fitzgeralds own 111 Innes Road, St Albans. It is TC3. The house built in the 1920’s is 2 storey with timber frame, weatherboard cladding and metal roof built on an unreinforced rubble perimeter foundation with internal piles. After the earthquakes the floor level differential is 58mm in the house. The earthquakes also caused some cracks to the perimeter foundation. The Court decided that the policy standard of”when new” involved a comparison to the state of the house when it was built. So any foundations must provide that level of support. Gendall J decided that repairing the foundation cracks with epoxy met the policy standard and so did the proposed jacking and packing of piles and perimeter. This would not meet the standards for a newly built home, but met the insurance policy standard that required the comparison to as built in the 1920’s. The conclusions were premised on IAG being able to obtain building consents (or exemptions) and code compliance certificates for the work. If it could not do so, then IAG would be required to replace the entire foundation.