Delay in service and limitation periods


Recently I conducted a hearing for owners of a leaky home where the defendants had asked the High Court to strike out the claim by reason of delays in service of the court proceedings having affected their ability to cross claim and join third parties.  The defendants alleged that by reason of the expiry of the 10 year limitation period under the Building Act they had been so prejudiced that justice was no longer achievable.  In the decision in McConnel v Matthews & ors [2013] NZHC   1819 Christiansen AJ dismissed the application.  The defendants were unable to show prejudice and that they could not have brought cross claims and joined third parties.  The proceedings were commenced within the 10 year limitation period and served within 12 months of filing.