Pre-October 2014 Payment Package
Background to the Package
In December 2020 the Government announced a payment package for affected customers who cash settled with Southern Response prior to 1 October 2014. We refer to this package as the "Pre-October 2014 Payment Package" or "Package".
Prior to October 2014, Southern Response did not ordinarily pay professional fees and contingencies for ‘Buy Another House’ or other cash settlement options. Subsequent court decisions have said those costs should be included in the calculation of the total cost to rebuild or repair a property. Based on& these decisions, Southern Response commenced paying these costs in insurance settlements entered after October 2014.
The Pre-October 2014 Payment Package is based on the Dodds case
The Package now available has been informed by the Dodds Court of Appeal decision. This decision determined that Southern Response made false and misleading representations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to certain cost elements, which should have been paid to Mr and Mrs Dodds. More information about the Dodds case can be found here.
Based on the findings in the Dodds case, and depending on each individual customer’s circumstances, a payment under the Package may include:
- An allowance for professional fees
- A contingency sum, and
A contribution toward the cost of getting independent legal advice on any Package payment offered to you may also be available.
The implementation of the Package will be overseen by an Independent Oversight Committee.
More information about the Package is provided on our FAQ page here.
Eligibility for the Pre-October 2014 Payment Package
To find out more about eligibility for the Package follow the link here.
To find out if you may be eligible for the Package and to apply, please follow the link here.
Relationship between Pre-October 2014 Payment Package and the Ross class action
A class action has been brought against Southern Response by Brendan and Colleen Ross as plaintiffs on their own behalf and on behalf of all persons who are “class members" as defined by orders made by the Court of Appeal (the judgment can be found online here). It deals with the same substantive issues as the Dodds case. This is an ‘opt-out’ class action, so all class members are included in the class action and bound by any resulting court judgment, unless they choose to opt out and take active steps to do so.
The Ross class action is being run by GCA Lawyers, who are the solicitors for Mr and Mrs Ross, and is funded by litigation funders, Claims Funding Australia Pty Ltd.
For more information regarding the Ross class action, please refer to the GCA Lawyers webpage: www.gcalawyers.com/srcca; contact GCA Lawyers on 03 365 1347 or email email@example.com; or seek your own independent legal advice.
Unless and until the Ross class action is discontinued, those customers who are members of the plaintiff class in that proceeding who choose to take a payment through the Package will be required to opt out of the Ross class action before the Package payment is made.
There is currently a proposal before the Court to discontinue the Ross class action which may reduce the impact the Ross proceeding will have on any application eligible class members may make under the Package. We will update this website with further developments as they occur.
Your options if you cash settled with Southern Response prior to 1 October 2014
If you are eligible for the Pre-October 2014 Payment Package and also a class member in the Ross class action, you can choose whether to receive a payment through the Package or remain in the class action. You cannot do both.
Until further notice, all recipients of Package payments (whether members of the plaintiff class or not) will also be required to sign a settlement agreement with Southern Response stating they have no further claim against Southern Response.
Recommendation to seek independent legal advice
We recommend you get legal advice regarding your options in relation to both the Ross class action and the Pre-October 2014 Payment Package. Community Law Canterbury provides free legal help to people in Canterbury and the Grey and Westland Districts.