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In response to news that Christchurch law firm GCA Lawyers expects to shortly progress a full class action against insurer Southern Response, its CEO Peter Rose issued a public statement suggesting that policy holders should not look to embark on a class action without first talking to the insurer because such
action would involve them in litigation that could 'last years' and which would be 'very expensive .'
Grant Cameron, the partner managing the legal claim, says Mr Rose clearly doesn't understand that one of the principle benefits of a class action is that cost is generally irrelevant.
"With only 100 people, each claimant can expect to be paying on 1% of the overall costs and of course, with 1000 members, the cost is inconsequential. In this case it seems there are more than 5000 unresolved cases so cost will not be any obstacle to action," says Mr Cameroan
"In regard to how long the proceedings will take, Mr Rose needs to consider the fast track process in the High Court at Christchurch as that will ensure a very early trial date. The recent Quake Outcasts trial was completed about three months after the case was filed and this class action is likely to be processed within a very similar timeframe,'' he says.
"As claimants have been vigorously seeking responses from their insurer over three years, it seems a bit rich for Mr Rose to now seek a discussion with litigants about the issue. However, Mr Rose is always welcome to come and chat with me if he would like to explore a mutually acceptable path forward," says Mr Cameron.
"In the meantime, claimants will receive full advice about the class action at a meeting to be held on Thursday 13 March, where claimants who have registered their interest will receive full advice as to the way forward. "
Claimants wanting to attend the meeting need to contact Laura at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 365 1347 (Christchurch).