New class action on leaky homes
Thursday 5 October 2017
Property owners struggling with a leaky building could fit the bill to join a new class action against councils.
Auckland law firm Adina Thorn Lawyers has launched a class action which aims to help property owners who have buildings with council-approved work that now leaks or has failed in other ways.
Registration is open to those who have had council-approved work done in the last 10 years, have “stopped the clock” by registering with the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service or is part of an existing claim.
Body corporates and commercial owners can also register to join the action.
The class action is against councils - not just Auckland Council - who have carried out any inspections or certification within the last 10 years.
Thorn said her firm has uncovered many cases of people who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves financially compromised by poor quality design or workmanship and have good claims against a council.
“They just cannot afford to pursue those claims because of legal and expert costs. This action removes that obstacle.
“Joining this action means you have access to a large legal and expert team without incurring any of the costs this would usually involve.”
The class action will be funded by a UK based litigation funder who will take a share of any damages secured after costs are reimbursed.
This means that those joining the action will face no out of pocket expenses.
Homeowners and Buyers Association president John Gray told media that a class action is a viable option for people who can’t afford to fund litigation themselves.
But he said that most people would now fall outside the 10-year limitation for taking legal action.
Thorn’s law firm is currently involved in several other high-profile class actions.
One of those is a $250 million leaky building class action claim against building materials company James Hardie, which involves over 365 owners of 1,075 dwellings.
Another is a $40 million plus funded class action against Carter Holt Harvey for the manufacture of Shadowclad cladding.
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