26.11.2021

ACP Cladding Update – Class Action Proposed

Media reports indicate that class action litigation in relation to ACP cladding is very likely.  A litigation funder has announced it will be funding a class action lawsuit for owners of buildings clad in ACP cladding with a combustible core comprised wholly or substantially of polyethylene.

Hesketh Henry partner Helen Macfarlane and solicitor Charlotte Lewis  have been raising concerns regarding the presence of ACP cladding on New Zealand high-rises since early 2018.  For a link to the paper prepared by Helen and Charlotte, click here.

The research and work undertaken by Helen and Charlotte in early 2018 identified that the Carter Holt Harvey and James Hardie class action litigation could pave the way for class actions against manufacturers and suppliers of ACP cladding, alleging (non-exhaustively) negligence, negligent misstatement, and statutory liability, e.g., under the Fair Trading Act.  For discussion on class action litigation arising out of defective building products, see:

https://www.heskethhenry.co.nz/insights-opinion/liability-for-defective-building-products-carter-holt-harvey-ltd-v-minister-of-education-ors-2015-nzca-321/   

https://www.heskethhenry.co.nz/insights-opinion/leaking-buildings-a-council-class-action-in-the-making/

Helen is a specialist in construction and insurance issues and has a special interest in ACP cladding and other fire-safety compliance issues (such as compliance with passive fire resistance requirements) and associated legal questions, including product liability, legal responsibility for defective and / or dangerous cladding building systems, and regulatory reform of the sector.    Helen is a council member of the Society of Construction Law and has presented to a number of construction and legal industry groups on the product liability and insurance issues posed by ACP cladding and other fire-safety compliance concerns.  Most recently, in November of 2019 she presented a Legalwise webinar on MBIE’s proposed regulatory reforms in the construction sector, click here for a copy of the paper

In late 2018, Helen was also quoted in a number of news reports concerning the status of investigations into ACP cladding in New Zealand and what (if anything) MBIE was proposing to do in response. 

For a link to Helen’s comment in news reports, see:

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/365627/grenfell-like-cladding-on-nz-buildings-not-audited-correctly 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/107594201/building-owners-face-higher-insurance-premiums-if-they-have-exterior-combustible-cladding

Helen and Charlotte attended the Safe Cladding, Buildings & Façade Innovation Summit in Auckland on 21 November 2019 where they heard from leading fire engineers, building surveyors, and Council representatives, as well as speakers from MBIE, IAG and insurance brokers, Crombie Lockwood.  The Summit speakers traversed a number of topical issues, including the current landscape for professional indemnity and property insurance, creating a culture of accountability across the building supply chain, improving compliance with the fire safety standards in the New Zealand building code and building and designing safe and resilient buildings.  Helen and Charlotte will continue to monitor developments on these matters closely with a focus on identifying means – whether regulatory or best practice – of improving compliance outcomes.  If you have any enquiries, please get in touch helen.macfarlane@heskethhenry.co.nz .

 

Do you need expert legal advice?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.
Kerry
Media contact - Kerry Browne
Please contact Kerry with any media enquiries and with any questions related to marketing or sponsorships on +64 9 375 8747 or via email.

Related Articles / Insights & Opinion

Force Majeure – Not A Get Out Of Jail Free Card
Woolworths Group Ltd v Twentieth Super Pace Nominees Pty Ltd [2021] NSWSC 344
17.06.2022 Posted in Trade and Transport
Payment Claims: Incorrect Due Date From Delayed Delivery
Nicholls Group Projects Ltd v Plan Design Build Homes Ltd
20.05.2022 Posted in Construction
Employment Court Deems Gloriavale Residents Employees
The definition of “employee” in the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA) can at times be tricky to navigate; recent cases involving builders, couriers, and uber drivers can attest to the issues tha...
18.05.2022 Posted in Employment
New proposals on modern slavery place higher responsibilities on NZ organisations
Over recent years, modern slavery has become a more prominent issue in New Zealand.
13.05.2022 Posted in Business Advice
Insurance Contracts Bill – submissions on exposure draft closing soon
As we reported in late February, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking submissions on the exposure draft Insurance Contracts Bill.  Submissions close on 4 May 2022. MB...
20.04.2022 Posted in Insurance
Matariki and Fair Pay Agreements
Matariki Te Pire mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o te Kāhui o Matariki (Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill) received Royal Assent yesterday, and the new Act comes into force today – 12 April 20...
12.04.2022 Posted in Employment
A Landmark Change? – Proposed reform of the occupational regulation of engineers
Engineers engage in building work that is critical to public safety. Despite this, few restrictions are placed on who can carry out and supervise complex and specialised projects that require high levels of professional judgement, skill and technical competence.
07.04.2022 Posted in Construction
Send us an enquiry
For expert legal advice, please complete the form below or call us on (09) 375 8700.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
-->