19 October 2021
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Mr and Mrs Ross’ persistence and that of their legal and funding team has led to a settlement of the class action. Subject to Court approval GCA Lawyers are now in a position to act for you to settle qualifying claims. Please go to https://www.gcalawyers.com/southern-response-compensation.
Following nearly four years of intense work, GCA Lawyers are extremely pleased to report that Mr and Mrs Ross have now reached an agreement with Southern Response to resolve the class action proceeding.
The agreement remains subject to the High Court approving the discontinuance of the proceedings. Mr and Mrs Ross have now applied to the Court to seek such approval.
Under the agreement, all class members will be able to access compensation from Southern Response on the same terms.
Key features of the resolution
The key features of the settlement are as follows.
1. Southern Response to pay compensation
The agreement provides for all class members wishing to settle their claims against Southern Response to apply for and receive compensation from Southern Response based on the principles decided by the court in the Dodds litigation.
2. Payment of interest
Southern Response will also pay interest on each class member’s claim, calculated in accord with the Interest on Money Claims Act 2016.
3. No legal costs or funding commission
Every class member will receive 100% of their compensation sum without any deductions for legal costs or funding commission.
Particular thanks is due to Claims Funding Australia which happily agreed to compromise its contractual entitlements to ensure that the overall deal could be secured without cost to any class members.
4. No requirement to opt out
Southern Response no longer requires class members to opt out of the proceedings as once the proceeding is discontinued it comes to an end.
In this way, class members will receive compensation for not having previously been paid their full policy entitlement, full interest for the period they have been without their funds, and all without having to pay a single dollar in costs.
You should seek legal advice. GCA Lawyers is able to assist.
If you are a class member you may now be able to obtain an offer of compensation from Southern Response for not having received your full insurance policy entitlements.
You could apply to Southern Response yourself and request them to provide you with a settlement offer. The recommended alternative is that you engage a lawyer to make the application on your behalf and to review any offer received from Southern Response to ensure that you are being offered your full entitlement under the Settlement Package.
Having been more intimately involved over the last 4 years in the nuances of Southern Response’s thinking and tactics than any other law firm, GCA believes it is uniquely positioned to assist you in now finalising your claims.
GCA has already asked Southern Response to provide their Settlement Package offers for each GCA client. Once received, that information will be checked to verify that clients are being offered the correct amount based on the Dodds principles.
Other class members
Policyholders who are not currently GCA clients can instruct GCA to advise on their entitlements by registering at https://www.gcalawyers.com/southern-response-compensation.
Once registered, you will be sent our terms of engagement and will be provided with the details that you will need to complete for us to undertake the process of enquiring about your entitlement and advising you accordingly.
Payment of the settlement sum
Southern Response have given assurances that it will process claims promptly and in good faith, so payments can be made to those accepting its offer, as soon as is reasonably possible.
In 2018, GCA Lawyers filed proceedings in the High Court of New Zealand against Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited over its alleged misleading concealment and non-payment of additional financial benefits due to policyholders. The representatives of the class are Brendan and Colleen Ross, whose earthquake damaged home was uneconomic to repair. The class action alleges that those who settled their Canterbury earthquake claims with Southern Response prior to October 2014 were misled about the full extent of their entitlements to compensation. The claim alleges Southern Response systematically withheld information from policyholders about their entitlements and the true cost of repairing or rebuilding homes damaged as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes.
The Court of Appeal has ordered that the class action is to be conducted on an opt-out basis. This means that all persons who have the same interest in the subject matter of the proceedings as Mr & Mrs Ross are automatically members of the class action unless they elect to opt-out. This includes both people whose houses were repairable and those whose houses were uneconomic to repair.
If you settled with Southern Response prior to October 2014 you may qualify as a class member. Now is the time to consider appointing GCA Lawyers as your lawyers to assist in obtaining final settlement of your claims.
The Court of Appeal has set out the criteria for people to be part of the class action in its judgment of 16 September 2019. The full text of the Court of Appeal's Order can be found in the FAQ section of this website. If you meet these criteria then you do not need to take any further steps to qualify as a class member at this stage.
Broadly, you will automatically be a class member if you:
Send us a message using this form if you have already registered, or otherwise contact us by email at [email protected]. Alternatively, if you require an urgent response, call our team on +64 3 365-1347 during business hours.