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    $100 million “leaky building” class action against James Hardie gaining momentum

    Nathan Johnson

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    More than 1,400 “leaky building” owners have registered to join a $100 million class action suit against the James Hardie Group of companies, seeking compensation for damages caused by the cladding manufacturers faulty products.

    ‘The Plaster Cladding Class Action’ was initiated by Auckland lawyer, Adina Thorn back in March and invited those who have leaky homes or buildings to come forward and decipher whether they had legitimate claims to compensation from building product manufacturers.

    Adina Thorn then said she had had inquiries about Harditex, Monotek and Titan cladding –all James Hardie products, as well as other polystyrene claddings, and has since narrowed the focus of the Class Action to faulty plaster cladding and against James Hardie.

    But it’s not the only class action of its kind gaining momentum. Parker & Associates, another New Zealand legal firm, has also filed High Court proceedings against James Hardie, this time the ‘Cladding Action’ claim is more specific and alleges James Hardie was negligent in its design, manufacture and supply of the Harditex cladding system.

    One of the big differences between the two claims is that Adina Thorn Lawyers have secured the financial backing of Europe's largest litigation funder Harbour Litigation Funding Limited. Adina Thorn says this ensures no out-of-pocket costs for participants in the action if they were unsuccessful and that fees and costs were likely to be between 30-40 per cent of payout awarded.

    There is also a 15 year limitations period for buildings acceptable for the Parker & Associates claim which ends 31 December, 2015, while Adina Thorn says there is no restriction as to the age of the building for those wishing to register for their claim.

    Those registered for ‘The Plaster Cladding Class Action’ come from as far as Britain and Australia, but the majority of the registered are New Zealand-based.


    More information on the Plaster Cladding Class Action can be found here:
    More information on the Cladding Action can be found here:


     

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