Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Law Commission sticks with joint and several liability

Law Commission sticks with joint and several liability

The Law Commission is strongly of the view that New Zealand should retain joint and several liability but has suggested some changes to make the system fairer for both sides.

The options
The big question for the Law Commission was whether to retain joint and several liability or recommend that New Zealand move to a system of proportionate liability.

Joint and several liability
...works from the principle that all parties who contributed to a loss are each liable for the full amount of the damages awarded. The effect of this is that, if one party is insolvent or for any other reason unavailable to pay, the others may have to front up with the difference in order that the plaintiff can recover in full.

Proportionate liability
...is used in a number of jurisdictions, including Australia. Under this rule, each liable defendant is apportioned a share of the total liability based on the court's assessment of their share of the responsibility or fault. No-one can be made to pay more than their share, meaning that the plaintiff carries the risk that there may be a missing liable party.

Recommendations
The Commission found that joint and several liability was "clearly the preferable system" but has recommended a number of adjustments to deliver fairer outcomes. Key among these are:

• giving the courts power to make orders that would mitigate the full application of joint and several liability where this would create a "clear injustice" to defendants who have only a minor responsibility. In such situations, the court would be expected to ensure that the plaintiff still receives an "effective remedy"

• changing the rules of contribution so that the costs of an uncollected share can be spread proportionately among the remaining solvent and liable defendants (currently a defendant which has been required to pay losses in excess of its share can chase up the others but they cannot be required to pay more than their allocated contribution)

• introducing liability caps for building consent authorities for new liabilities after the leaky home claims have been dealt with

• introducing to New Zealand a version of the capped liability schemes for auditors applying in almost all of the Australian States. It is anticipated that the capped scheme would apply only where a very large audit firm was exposed to a catastrophic loss.

Where now?
The Government has undertaken to respond to the recommendations early next year.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

ALSO:

Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Broadcasters Launch Battle Against Global Mode ISPs

New Zealand broadcasters have confirmed they’ve launched legal proceedings against internet service providers who give customers’ access to “global mode”, which allows customers access to offshore online content, claiming it breaches the local content providers’ copyright. More>>

ALSO:

Sanford: Closure Of Christchurch Mussel Processing Plant Confirmed

The decision comes after a period of consultation with the 232 staff employed at the Riccarton site, who were told on 9 April that Sanford was considering the future of mussel processing in Christchurch. Recent weather patterns had impacted on natural spat (offspring) supply... More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese: Dairy Product Prices Fall To The Lowest This Year

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, hitting the lowest level in the 2015 auctions so far, as prices for milk powder and butter slid amid concern about the outlook for commodities. More>>

ALSO:

Houston, We Have An Air Route: Air New Zealand To Fly Direct To The Heart Of Texas

Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Reserve Bank’s Spencer Calls On Govt To Rethink Housing Tax

The Reserve Bank has urged the government to take another look at a capital gains tax on investment in housing, allow increased high-density development and cut red tape for planning consents to address an over-heated Auckland property market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news