Blog

In Bruce & ors v IAG New Zealand Ltd [2019] NZCA 590 the Court of Appeal allowed the homeowners’ appeal and dismissed the IAG cross appeal in a case about IAG’s post earthquake remedial work.  IAG elected to repair the house and spent $1.4M doing so.  IAG’s engaged builder, Jim the Builder, did not repair the house so that it was “as when new”.  At issue at trial were the floor levels, wall verticality and internal finishes.  The High Court Judge, Mallon J, found that IAG had not restored to the three items to the policy standard, but puported to limit the remedy available to the homeowners.  The Court of […]

Vero, AMI and AA Insurance refused to pay $4.9M of rental hire costs claimed by not at fault drivers where their insured drivers were at fault.  Right to Drive funded the rental cars in return for rights against the insured driver(s) and their insurers.  It sued to recover from the insurers.  The insurers denied liability for many reasons.  The insurers lost in the High Court.  In Frucor Beverages Ltd & ors v Blumberg & ors [2019] NZCA 547 the Court of Appeal dismissed the insurers’ appeal(s) and commented about the lack of merit of the appeals.  Previous Australian and United Kingdom cases were similar.  The Court of Appeal makes very […]

In Birchs Road Ltd v EQC & anor [2019] NZHC 2439 the High Court (DunninghamJ) considered  an application to transfer a court proceeding in process for 3 years with a trial date commencing 21 October 2019 where the defendants had concerns about their ability to recover costs from the homeowner if the claim was transferred to the Earthquake Tribunal.  In Fraser v EQC & anor [2019] NZHC 2768 the High Court (Lester AJ) decided that the High Court retained jurisdiction to deal with costs in respect of a proceeding transferred to the Earthquake Tribunal.  Fraser is notable for a wasted costs order against the homeowner for changing lawyers and engineers.

In Pinot Properties Ltd v Vero Insurance New Zealand Ltd [2019] NZHC 2244 the High Court (Osborne J) dismissed an application to transfer an earthquake court proceeding to the Earthquake Insurance Tribunal as the Court decided that the relevant building at 205 Manchester St was not a residential building, nor residential property, so was not eligible.  The Court reached this conclusion notwithstanding that EQC paid claim(s) and the properties had been used for residential purposes.  Vero insured the property under a commercial property.

In Dewes & ors v IAG New Zealand Ltd & ors [2019] NZHC 2270 the High Court (Lester AJ) considered an application by home owners to transfer a claim about a defectively repaired earthquake damaged house where IAG had joined Hawkins and Hawkins’ insurer, QBE.  QBE did not want the claim against it transferred to the Tribunal and said that it was a separate proceeding not within the Tribunal jurisdiction.  The High Court disagreed with QBE and said the entire dispute could be transferred, which it did.