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After being told that the Earthquake Commission was focused on settling Mark and Nichola Goodier’s claim more than three years after a landslip badly damaged their house, the exhausted couple head to court on Monday.
In June 2015, after a major storm, the Goodier’s lost a huge chunk of their section to a landslide and have been fighting to have the true cost of that damage and the resulting damage to their home, acknowledged by the EQC. They had hoped a meeting this week may have lead to an agreement which would have avoided court.
“Our son Louis met with EQC’s Deputy Chief Executive, Operations, Paul Jepson because they indicated they were keen to talk, and there was a desire to settle and not head too court. In the meeting, Louis found Mr Jepson had not even read our file and seemed to be unaware of important details about our case,” says Mark Goodier. “He also didn’t know we have 31 statements from people which essentially dismiss EQC’s position that our house has not been significantly affected by the slip.”
Mark says despite Mr Jepson appearing to be keen to come to a settlement there is nothing substantive.
“We are shocked. That’s not a negotiation or anywhere near operating in good faith,” he says.
The EQC has paid the Goodier’s $38,000 of the $115,000 cap payment despite reports and statements that show repairs costs are more than $500,000. The land has also been badly damaged for which EQC has paid $76,000, with the Goodier’s professional assessments putting remediation costs at almost $300,000.
“We have got this far, we must see this through,” says Mark. “We have spent thousands of dollars and are exhausted and stressed. We would like nothing better than EQC to do the right thing and put us over cap and let us deal with our insurer to avoid court but that looks unlikely, being only one working day away.”