Our response to the proposed action
- Created: 10 September 2015
You may have read an article in The Press over the past couple of days regarding our response to the proposed representative action. You can find the article here.
For your information, our full statement provided to The Press can be found below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Claims Specialist.
“Our customers have a right to take action and challenge us regarding their claims, if they wish to do so. We are genuinely concerned about the risks and potential negative impacts on our customers being signed up to the proposed representative action without being fully informed.
“We do not accept that the proposed representative action has any merit. Our review of the basis of the action supplied with the Court documents has only reinforced our views, and we will strongly defend the claim. We are concerned for those of our customers who have joined the action, about the indefinite length of time it would likely take to resolve this claim through the courts and whether foregoing a percentage of their individual settlements to the litigation funder may ultimately leave those customers worse off.
“Given that each homeowner’s situation is different and each individual claim requires time and care, we consider the quickest and fairest way to settle claims is on an individual basis.
“That’s why we’ve been offering (and will continue to offer) the opportunity to seek unbiased, expert, independent legal advice at no cost to customers considering joining the proposed representative action. This covers a two-hour consultation for the purpose of reviewing any contractual documents for the action, in particular the agreement that each customer must enter into with the litigation funder. As far as we are aware, all customers who have made use of this service so far are now fully aware of their options, the implications of joining this action and have decided to continue to move forward in our programme, and none have signed up to the representative action. To us, this speaks volumes.
“We’ve settled 4,771 house claims and have 2,000 actively in progress and moving forward, while the remainder have yet to make a settlement decision. Newly notified EQC over cap claims continue to arrive at a steady rate and we are progressing these promptly. This flow of new claims, along with the extended construction times for complex repairs and rebuilds on compromised land has inevitably lengthened our settlement programme. Despite the challenges in the environment generally, a representative action will not alter our resolve to help our customers settle their individual claims as quickly as possible.
“We are not increasing offers as a direct response to the proposed representative action. However, we continue to work with all of our remaining customers, including those who have sought legal advice, to reach a final agreement for each of their individual claims. Increases can arise during the design process, or as a result of cost escalation from the time of any initial offer. Any increase which may have been offered to a customer involved with the proposed representative action, is purely coincidental with the action.
“In response to your question about Mr Preston, given that Mr Preston’s claim is now listed in the High Court, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on his individual claim. You need to ask Mr Preston about this – seek some evidence from him.”