Update on EQC on-sold class action - February 24

We are now well into the procedural phase of the class action with both parties providing the other with relevant documentation in their possession (discovery).  EQC provided over 900 documents that will need to be carefully analysed to determine if there is anything relevant within them.

The Judge issued a Minute on 12 December 2023 (in the Claim Documents tab, or here), key matters from the Minute were: each party is working though discovery and each reserve their position in case further discovery is required, EQC issued a notice requiring further particulars to which an amended statement of claim has been served (in the Claim Documents tab, or here), EQC continue to challenge the eligibility of a number of those who have opted in, and submissions on the issue of those who opted in late will be reviewed by the Court.

We are talking to the lawyers in another (separate) Court proceeding scheduled for trial in July 2024, also about EQC’s liability to later purchasers.  There is a possibility that this case will resolve EQC’s liability for this class action.

Choices for homeowners

EQC will tell you that you should participate in the Crown On-Sold programme it administers on behalf of the Crown.  This requires homeowners to undertake the repairs and then be reimbursed by EQC.  We believe homeowners should have the choice to receive a cash payment if that is what they want.

The approval of this class action is great news for qualifying homeowners who now have alternative pathways to resolve long standing issues caused by EQC's poor assessments or repair work prior to them owning their homes.

Many of the homeowners this decision will assist are those who are not in a position to undertake major repair work or who have the time, energy and financial means to go through yet more disruptions to their lives.

Grant Shand, counsel for the representative plaintiff in this case says...

"We don't believe that homeowners should have to go through the stress and inconvenience to rectify what are EQC's failings. Also, these homeowners should not be restricted by the Government On-Sold programme that is administered by EQC; they should be able to receive a cash payment if that is their preference."

There is qualifying criteria that will apply to homeowners who wish to opt in (please refer to the "Can I join?" section for further details).  You can register now and have your eligibility decided later.

What is this EQC on-sold class action about

EQC assessed, repaired, replaced or made settlement payments on over 50,000 properties which have been subsequently on-sold since the Canterbury earthquakes.  EQC had a track record of incorrect and/or inaccurate assessments of earthquake damage and badly repairing earthquake damage.

Many people who purchased these on-sold houses that were incorrectly or inaccurately assessed and/or badly repaired, relied on EQC’s settlement information that the house was correctly assessed and/or repaired.  They now find that further repairs are needed to meet the standard of repair required under the EQC Act, however there is no insurance cover available for the entire loss.

While the Government introduced the $300m Crown On-Sold programme (administered by EQC) to meet this shortfall in the repair costs, this requires affected homeowners to undertake their own repairs and then be reimbursed by EQC where they meet certain criteria.  It also requires a covenant to be placed on the land title.

We believe affected homeowners should be able to receive a cash payment for the cost of the remedial work which is a result of EQC’s actions and/or inaction.  They should not be locked into the prescriptive criteria of the Crown On-Sold programme.

Learn more

What does it cost?

It costs you nothing to register and nothing to opt in to the claim.  If you receive a settlement as a result of the class action, the litigation funder will charge a maximum fee of 15% (including GST) of any settlement monies received or judgment sum awarded.  

You will never be asked to pay any money up front or pay for a share of any costs – it’s simply a deduction of up to 15% (including GST) off any amount you are entitled to receive once the class action is resolved.  You do not pay any additional legal fees.  This is less than many other class actions.

Frequenty asked questions

Further information about the claim

If you have questions about this class action, please contact us and one of our team will be in touch with you.