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Lawyer Challenges Steel & Tube to Indemnify

26 October 2018
Lawyer Challenges Steel & Tube to Indemnify

“If there’s nothing wrong with the product, indemnify property owners.”

That’s the challenge lawyer Adina Thorn is presenting to Steel & Tube today after it was reported their Chief Executive Mark Malpass said the company has full confidence in the quality of their product (referring to non-compliant steel mesh).

“If Steel & Tube are confident that their products will continue to work, especially during a significant event like an earthquake, they should indemnify property owners. It's unfair for home and commercial property owners to continue carrying this concern through no fault of their own,” she says. "Steel & Tube should confirm that they will be responsible for any costs customers may face that are in any way related to having non-compliant mesh.”

Ms Thorn says that the suggestion today by Steel & Tube’s CEO (regarding the steel mesh debacle) that some decisions made "weren't quite right" is quite an under-statement.

“Amongst other things, they gave evidence that instead of "aging" mesh in a commercial oven, they "aged" it in a staff domestic oven. They issued a Certificate to the market from Engineers to confirm compliance that was never prepared by the Engineers. The Judge called that "grossly negligent". It's a long way from decisions being made that weren’t “quite right”, she says.

The proposed class action is intended to help owners be compensated for the significant uncertainty.

"A class action is one of the tools in the justice toolbox, which enables everyone to join an action. When it is funded, cost does not become an issue. Anyone in Canterbury who has gone through years of uncertainty with insurers, EQC and house rebuilds, doesn't need the additional stress of having non-compliant mesh in their home. The least they expect is that materials they are told are "earthquake grade", are. An indemnity for all owners would go a long way to removing stress and uncertainty for them".


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