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Lawyers welcome class action in Southern Response test case

A court decision that means thousand of home owners battling Southern Response will automatically be clumped together in a class action is being applauded by lawyers taking the test cast.

Christchurch couple Colleen and Brendan Ross believe they were deceived into accepting a lower settlement offer from Southern Response.

Their situation is being used as a test case against the insurer. But it is believed up to 3,000 other quake-damaged home owners could be a similar situation - meaning potential payouts could be in the hundreds of millions - if the case is a success.

The just-released Court of Appeal decision means those people be signed the court case, unless they expressly advise the court they don't want to be part of it.

The lawyer for the class action Grant Cameron tells Lisa Owen why it matters. Southern Response has received the Court of Appeal judgment in the Ross matter and is currently considering the Court's findings.

The government and Southern Response have recently said, when announcing they would appeal the Dodds' High Court decision, that once they have better clarity from the appeal courts, they would proactively respond to other people in a similar situation to the Dodds.

The intention of this would be to avoid the need for further costly litigation for customers, and ideally to avoid a customer having to pay a portion of their entitlements to an offshore litigation funder.



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