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EQC and Shine Lawyers reach agreement with ‘test case’

EQC and Shine Lawyers reach agreement with ‘test case’ homeowners

The Earthquake Commission and Shine Lawyers are delighted to announce that EQC has reached an agreement with the Gibling family, agreeing to cover the cost of repairs of remaining earthquake damage on their property.

“We are pleased that we have been able to make this offer to the Gibling family thanks to the new Government policy that was announced last week,” says EQC Deputy Chief Executive Renée Walker.

“The Government policy means we are now able to offer a solution to homeowners who previously had an uninsured gap between policy or act entitlement, and the cost to repair their property.

“This has enabled us to not only settle the Gibling case, but also agree a framework for settling the 54 other cases currently registered with Shine”.

The Gibling case was set to be heard in the High Court on August 26, but Ms Walker says the agreement has now provided certainty for the home owners and means the case is no longer required.

“We have been in regular discussions with the homeowners and their legal team from Shine, who both recognised a new opportunity to get a positive outcome for the family without the need to go to court,” says Ms Walker, adding that the professional and constructive working relationship with the Shine team played a key role in finding a solution.

Angela Parlane, Managing Director of Shine Lawyers says that “we are delighted to work with EQC to reach a settlement on this longstanding case.“

“Many of our clients faced financial ruin due to the unrepaired damage on their houses, and we now have a process underway for these people to be compensated. It‘s fantastic that we have been able to achieve this without the need for a three-week court trial and we look forward to bring closure for our clients so they can move on with their lives,” says Ms Parlane.

The details of the payment are confidential for commercial and privacy reasons.

“The payment does not mean that EQC accepts liability for the Giblings’ outstanding earthquake damage, but it is simply the best outcome for the family to get on with their life,” says Ms Walker.

Ms Parlane, added that “whilst we have settled without the need for a formal judgment, we are happy that our clients will receive their full legal entitlement, and often cases like this are settled without admissions of liability.”

EQC continues to register other affected on-sold property owners who want to be considered for potential ex-gratia payments and assess if they fulfil the criteria to start the process to receive a support package.

If you want to find out more about the criteria and how to register please visit the Canterbury page on the EQC website www.eqc.govt.nz.


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