New Zealand Law Society - EQC and Shine Lawyers reach agreement with ‘test case’ homeowners

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

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The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has announced a settlement with Shine Lawyers regarding one of 55 cases currently registered with the law firm.

The initial case of the Gibling family provides an agreed framework for Shine and the EQC to settle the remaining 54 registered cases.

Details of the payment are confidential for commercial and privacy reasons. The High Court trial was due to commence August 26.

A new Government package released 15 August means homeowners who previously had an uninsured gap between EQC policy or act entitlement and the cost to repair their property could apply to seek resolve.

The policy allows Canterbury homeowners of over-cap on-sold properties to apply for an ex-gratia payment to have their homes repaired. Families have 12 months to register interest.

“Many of our clients faced financial ruin due to the unrepaired damage on their houses,” says Angela Parlene, Managing Director of Shine Layers.

“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.”

Renee Walker, EQC Deputy Chief Executive, says payment to the Giblings does not mean the agency accepts liability, “but is simply the best outcome for the family to get on with their life.”

Details regarding the EQC registration of affected on-sold property owners who want to be considered for ex-gratia payments can be found on their Canterbury page.