Costs from EQC and Southern Response


In Ramage v EQC & Southern Response [2016] NZHC 2327 the High Court considered an award of costs against Southern Response after it settled a claim at a mediation, but with costs not agreed.  EQC prior the Court hearing had agreed to pay costs of $32,677.51.  The judgment is notable at para [27] for the statement that success against EQC is determined by whether EQC concedes the claim is over cap.  If so, then EQC should be liable for costs of at least 50%.  Southern Response was found to have acted unreasonably by not disclosing complete DRA’s.  It also acted unreasonably by agreeing with EQC’s position that the claim was under cap when its own assessments showed that it assessed the claim as over cap.  Notwithstanding the success by the Ramages in getting a settlement from Southern Response above previous offers the Court only awarded 25% of the costs from Southern Response.  This % is difficult to reconcile with previous decisions.