If you purchased a house that was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes where a previous owner was settled by EQC (by either cash payment or managed repair) and now the house needs further repairs, you may be eligible for the costs of those further repairs.
Grant Shand Barristers & Solicitors launched this class action in June 2021. We believe homeowners should be properly compensated for EQC’s incorrect and/or inaccurate assessments and/or badly repaired houses, and they should not have to rely on the restrictions of the On-Sold Policy.
What is this EQC On-Sold Class Action about?
EQC assessed and settled 50,000 properties which have been subsequently on-sold since the Canterbury earthquakes. EQC had a track record of incorrect and/or inaccurate assessments of earthquake damage and badly repairing earthquake damage.
Many people who purchased these on-sold houses that were incorrectly or inaccurately assessed and/or badly repaired, relied on EQC’s settlement information that the house was correctly assessed and/or repaired. They now find that further repairs are needed to meet the standard of repair required under the EQC Act.
Generally, where these houses are over the EQC cap, private insurers will only pay indemnity value leaving homeowners with a shortfall to repair their houses.
The Crown introduced the $300m On-Sold Policy (administered by EQC) to meet this shortfall in the repair costs, however this requires affected homeowners to undertake their own repairs and then be reimbursed by EQC where they meet certain criteria.
We believe affected homeowners should be able to receive a cash payment for the cost of the remedial work which is a result of EQC’s incorrect and inaccurate assessments and/or failed repairs. They should not be locked into the prescriptive criteria of the On-Sold Policy.
Can I join the EQC On-Sold 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) The current owner who has the relevant insurable interest for the purpose of EQC claims (“current owner”) of a residential building that was insured by s18 of the Earthquake Commission Act 1993 (“EQC Act”) during the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence that commenced on 4 September 2010 and ended on 23 December 2011.
(2) The residential building suffered natural disaster damage in an earthquake in the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.
(3) The owner(s) of the residential building at the time of the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence (“original owner”) made claim(s) to EQC for the natural disaster damage.
(4) EQC accepted the claim(s) for natural disaster damage.
(5) EQC accepted the claim(s) for natural disaster damage.
(6) EQC by itself or its agents purported to settle the claim(s) for natural disaster damage under ss18 & 29 of the EQC Act by way of payment, replacement or reinstatement. The purported settlement of the claim for natural disaster damage was either under EQC’s statutory cap, or was made pursuant to the protocol entered into between EQC and private insurers in November 2011 known as ‘Protocol 1’.
(7) EQC’s purported settlement of the claim(s) for natural disaster damage in paragraph 6 above did not meet the standard required by the EQC Act, namely replacing or reinstating the building to a condition substantially the same as but not better or more extensive than its condition when new, modified as necessary to comply with any applicable laws.
(8) The current owner purchased the residential building subsequent to the purported EQC claim(s) settlement for natural disaster damage in paragraph 6 above.
(9) The current owner purchased the residential building subsequent to the purported EQC claim(s) settlement for natural disaster damage in paragraph 6 above.
(10) Further payment, replacement or reinstatement is required to meet the standard required by the EQC Act to settle the claim(s) for natural disaster damage.
(11) The date that the current owner knew that the purported settlement by EQC of the claims for natural disaster damage did not meet the standard required by the EQC Act is/was within six years of 17 February 2021, or such longer period permitted by the late knowledge provisions of the Limitation Act 2010.
(12) There is no binding settlement agreement between the EQC and the current owner or original owner of the residential building in respect of claim(s) made for natural disaster damage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much will it cost me to join this EQC On-Sold 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 On-Sold 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 $5,000 or less, then you will not receive anything and there will be no fees applicable.
If judgment/settlement sum is between $5,001 and $20,000, our fixed fee is $3,000.
If judgment/settlement sum is between $20,001 and $50,000, our fixed fee is $6,000.
If judgment/settlement sum is between $50,001 and $100,000, our fixed fee is $12,000.
If judgment/settlement sum is greater than $100,001, then our fixed fee is $20,000.