Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Southern Response Concealment Class Action

[Released 16 September 2019. The text version below is based on automatic character recognition and may contain errors. Please refer to the original document.]

MEDIA RELEASE

Southern Response Concealment Class Action

In a landmark judgment issued this morning, the Court of Appeal confirmed that the Southern Response Concealment Class Action will proceed issued on an "opt out” basis.

On the primary issue the Court of Appeal said:

Allowing representative proceedings to proceed on an opt out basis will also strengthen the incentives for insurers and other large entities dealing with the public to comply with the law, as it increases the prospect that they will be held to account for any breaches of their obligations to large numbers of individuals in circumstances where individual claims may not otherwise be pursued. Those incentives will be weaker if the potential breacher is only exposed to an opt in claim brought on behalf of a modest proportion of affected persons who have actively sought to participate in the claim.

Class action lawyer, Grant Cameron of GCA Lawyers, who acts for the class representatives Brendan and Colleen Ross, said;

"all affected policyholders will now receive a Notice from the Court confirming that they are automatically included as members of the class. If anyone doesn't want to be involved in the proceeding, they will have to provide written notice to the court."

"We are very pleased with this decision for two reasons. First, the Court has confirmed that repair customers who entered into settlements in similar circumstances should be included in the class and so no affected policyholder should now miss out. Second, by requiring an opt-out notice to be issued to all affected policyholders, we can be sure that all class members will be guaranteed access to justice".

"As an opt-out order has never previously been ordered by a New Zealand Court, the decision aligns our Courts with class action best practice throughout the Western World".

Brendan and Colleen Ross, who represent the short-changed policy-holders said:

"We are thrilled with this outcome as we couldn't have sued by ourselves and so the only way forward was for everyone to come together. If Southern Response had persuaded the Court that the obligation remained on policyholders to provide written notice that they wanted to join the action, we had to expect that about 80% wouldn't have responded. That would have meant that the government would still avoid having to pay out about $200M even though the courts have already found its actions to be wrong. By providing an opt-out order, everyone will now benefit, and justice might finally be done".

"We think thanks is properly due to our legal team but particularly to Claims Funding Australia, who have provided the litigation funding support for the action. Without that support, we could never have got this far”.

In a Supreme Court judgment released on 22 July 2015, Southern Response was held liable to pay sums of money that it had earlier concealed from a policyholder when it was settling its insurance claims. Instead of immediately responding to that judgment by correcting all settlements made to that point, Southern Response decided to only correct its conduct in for persons settling their claims after 1 October 2014 thereby side-stepping its obligations to all policyholders who had settled earlier.

"The importance of this decision cannot be understated. Not only is it a landmark decision in New Zealand law, but by the Rosses bringing the action as a representative proceeding, they ensured that 'the clock stopped' for limitation purposes, and for all eligible policyholders”, said Mr Cameron.

In August this year the High Court found that Southern Response Liable to pay Mr and Mrs Dodds over $178,000 after it had misled and deceived them after withholding the cost estimates when they settled their insurance claims. Despite two courts now finding Southern Response liable to pay the concealed funds, Southern Response announced on 12 September that it would appeal the Dodds judgment.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, lest he be carried away in the slavering jaws of Jack Tame…. but this was mere incompetence, not malice. At the same time the President of the United States was (a) falsely accusing one of his media critics of murder, and (b) threatening to shut down Twitter for attaching a warning label to Trump’s attempt at poisoning the electoral process by falsely claiming that postal voting has led to extensive voter fraud... More>>


 

Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Lockdown Rules: Government Must Explain Why We’re Still At Level 2

The Government needs to explain to New Zealanders why it won’t consider a move to Alert Level 1 for another week, Leader of the Opposition Todd Muller says.
“Kiwis have made enormous sacrifices to flatten the curve, but if their efforts still aren’t enough to move to Level 1 then the Government must explain why.... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes


The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>

ALSO:


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels