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: Spark, Voda And Telstra To Lay New Trans-Tasman Cable

Spark New Zealand and Vodafone, New Zealand’s two dominant telecommunications providers, in partnership with Australian provider Telstra, will spend US$70 million building a trans-Tasman submarine cable to bolster broadband traffic between the neighbouring countries and the rest of the world. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Current Account Deficit Widens

New Zealand's annual current account deficit was $6.1 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) for the year ended September 2014. This compares with a deficit of $5.8 billion (2.5 percent of GDP) for the year ended June 2014. More>>

ALSO:

Still In The Red: NZ Govt Shunts Out Surplus To 2016

The New Zealand government has pushed out its targeted return to surplus for a year as falling dairy prices and a low inflation environment has kept a lid on its rising tax take, but is still dangling a possible tax cut in 2017, the next election year and promising to try and achieve the surplus pledge on which it campaigned for election in September. More>>

ALSO:

Job Insecurity: Time For Jobs That Count In The Meat Industry

“Meat Workers face it all”, says Graham Cooke, Meat Workers Union National Secretary. “Seasonal work, dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: ComCom Charges Hawkins’ Finance Companies Over Debt Recovery

The Commerce Commission has filed criminal proceedings against two finance companies run by former 1980s high-flyer Allan Hawkins over their debt recovery practices. More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: The Big Science Stories Of 2014

It was a dramatic year for science, one that witnessed a severe outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and an historic mission to land a space probe on a comet. On the home front... headlines with animal testing for 'legal highs', 1080 use to tackle increased pest numbers and court action over genetically modified organisms among the most-covered stories. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news