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Homeowners Group Says “Hit Pause” Following Dodds Decision

The Homeowners Advisory Group (HOAG) group, which was established to work with the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service (GCCRS), suggests people “hit pause” after the Dodds Detailed Repair Assessments (DRA) decision was released last week.

HOAG Chair, Tom McBrearty, says some Claimants who settled with Southern Response (SR), may feel there’s a need to do something following the decision however the group strongly suggests people wait.

“If you think you could be a Southern Response Double DRA case, you don’t need to do anything right away. The HOAG warns especially that Claimants don’t sign up with anyone who may charge a significant amount of money by way of a fee or percentage. We suggest waiting until after the election as the Government will then announce how it intends managing the way forward. The precedent has already clearly been set in the Dodd’s case so waiting for that announcement may well be wise,” he says.

The Court of Appeal last week released its decision in the Southern Response Double DRA case and found in favour of homeowners Karl and Alison Dodds.

In August 2019, Justice Gendall found in favour of the Dodds, saying Southern Response had engaged in “false, misleading and deceptive conduct” resulting in the couple receiving a much lower insurance payment than they were entitled to. Nonetheless, the Government supported Southern Response, following Crown Law advice, to go to the Court of Appeal, to obtain “greater clarity”. The appeal was filed late last year.

Mr McBrearty says HOAG would also encourage potential SR Double DRA claimants to register with the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service, and it is free to do so.

“The Claim Managers will support people through the process which can be followed with no cost or fee to the homeowner. We recommend this as an option for homeowners who settled with Southern Response,” he says.

HOAG members have been contacted by claimants, wanting to know if the Dodds decision affects them and what it means for their settlement? Mr McBrearty says this is exactly the sort of question the GCCRS can answer, as well as providing any additional information and support that homeowners may require.

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