EQC and its liability for legal costs


There High Court judgments have ordered EQC to pay costs and disbursements to homeowners where EQC paid cap after being sued. These are Whiting & ors v EQC & anor [2014] NZHC 1736Ryde v EQC & anor [2014] 2763 and van Limburg v EQC & anor [2014] 2764.  EQC appealed each of these decisions to the Court of Appeal and Ryde and van Limburg cross appealed the Court’s decision to reduce the costs to 50%.  The High Court had said that it would reduce the award by 50% because the insurer was still a party.  The Court of Appeal heard the appeals on 11 March 2015.  It is hoped that the Court of Appeal dismisses the EQC appeals and allows the cross appeals.  By the court proceedings the homeowners obtained sums of money, so were successful and EQC should be liable for the full costs because its  refusal to pay cap necessitated the court proceedings and in some cases the insurer was prepared to accept the house was a rebuild, but could not do anything by reason of the EQC attitude, so the insurer may not have a costs liability.