Homeowners have lost money by EQC’s delays in assessing and paying claims. This can be by way of interest paid on mortgages that they shouldn’t of had to, or a lost ability to invest the money to get a return. If the payment is after 1 January 2018 homeowners may also be entitled to interest under the Interest on Money Claims Act 2016.
Grant Shand Barristers & Solicitors launched this class action on June 2021. We believe homeowners should be fairly compensated for EQC’s delays in assessing and paying claims.
What is this EQC Delay in Payment Class Action about?
EQC has taken far too long to settle many Canterbury earthquake claims. It has now been more than 10 years since the main earthquakes hit the Canterbury region, and yet EQC has still not settled all claims, in fact claims continue to be re-opened today.
Although the EQC Act does not provide for a specific deadline for EQC to settle claims, s29(4) of the EQC Act states payments should be made “…as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any event not later than 1 year after the amount of the damage has been duly determined …” We do not believe it was ever anyone’s intention that EQC should take 10 years to settle claims.
Because of EQC’s delay in settling Canterbury earthquake claims, homeowners have lost money by way of interest on mortgage balances they shouldn’t of had, or where they did not have a mortgage they have lost the ability to invest the money to get a return.
We believe homeowners affected by EQC’s delay in payment should have their losses compensated. If you were not fully and correctly settled by EQC by 14 May 2015 you may be able to join this EQC Delay in Payment Class Action.
Can I join the EQC Delay in Payment Class Action?
To be able to join this class action you need to ensure that you meet all of the qualifying criteria listed below (taken from the [draft] application to the Court for a Representative Order)
(1) An owner or former owner (who has the rights to EQC claim(s)) of a residential building that was insured by s18 of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.
(2) The residential building suffered natural disaster damage in the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence that commenced on 4 September 2010 and ended on 23 December 2011.
(3) Claim(s) made to EQC for the natural disaster damage.
(4) EQC accepted the claim(s) for natural disaster damage.
(5) EQC assessed the claim(s) for natural disaster damage.
(6) EQC has made a payment and/or has a liability to make a payment under ss18 & 29 of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 to the owner/former owner of the residential building after 14 May 2015.
(7) EQC ought to have made the total payment(s) by 14 May 2015.
(8) The recipient of the payment suffered a loss because at the time the total payment(s) ought to have been made they either had:
(a) mortgage that would have been reduced by the amount of the total EQC payments; or
(b) an ability to invest the total payment(s) for economic return.
(9) There is no binding settlement agreement between the EQC and the residential building owner/former owner in respect of all claim(s) for natural disaster damage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much will it cost me to join this EQC Delay in Payment Class Action?
We will charge you a simple and clear fixed fee that we will deduct off any settlement. We will never ask you to pay us any money, and if the minimum fixed fee is greater than the amount due to you, then there is no charge.
Group members will have no liability for legal costs if the class action is unsuccessful.
This class action is currently not funded by a litigation funder; however, this may change as the case develops. If this class action does become funded by a litigation funder it will not change the fee structure that is detailed in the Fees section below (but you may need to complete a funding agreement with the litigation funder).
How much money will I get?
It is impossible at this stage to provide any specific figure on what you could expect to receive.
This is due to a variety of factors that are unique to each homeowner’s situation (for example how much EQC has already paid you, the area of land damaged, the costs to repair the land, etc.).
What are the chances for success for the EQC Delay in Payment Class Action?
Our team is confident that the case has strong merits, however litigation is inherently risky and it is not possible to predict the outcome, or how long the case will take.
What are the benefits of a class action?
Running each individual claim through the courts would be costly and time consuming.
Being able to combine class member’s claims that involve common questions of fact and law, reduces the average cost of litigation by only addressing the common issues once at trial, instead of multiple times.
Does it cost anything to register?
No, it costs nothing to register.
Will registering mean I become a client of Grant Shand Barristers & Solicitors?
No, registration will not make you a client of Grant Shand Barristers & Solicitors. It just gives us a way to keep you informed about developments and the progress of the class action.
We will charge you a simple and clear fixed fee that we will deduct off any judgment or settlement. We will never ask you to pay us any money, and if the minimum fixed fee is greater than the amount due to you, you will not receive anything and there will be no fees applicable.
Our Simple Fixed Fee Structure
If judgment/settlement sum is $1,000 or less, then you will not receive anything and there will be no fees applicable.
If judgment/settlement sum is between $1,001 and $5,000, our fixed fee is $1,000.
If judgment/settlement sum is between $5,001 and $10,000, our fixed fee is $1,500.
If judgment/settlement sum is between $10,001 and $20,000, our fixed fee is $2,500.
If judgment/settlement sum is between $20,001 and $40,000, our fixed fee is $5,000.
If judgment/settlement sum is greater than $40,001, then our fixed fee is $7,500.