The Crown has today announced that it will appeal the High Court decision of the K. & A. Dodds v Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd case. 

“As the party to that case, Southern Response has been working closely with the Crown and external legal advisors as the decision of whether to appeal was being considered,” Southern Response CEO Anthony Honeybone said.

“This was not an easy decision for anyone. We acknowledge that this is not the news that the Dodds were hoping for and we have met with them this morning to explain the reasons for appeal, which are far broader than their individual case, and apologise for the fact that they are in the middle of this. 

“Southern Response was established after the Christchurch earthquakes to ensure that customers could receive their insurance entitlements when AMI Insurance failed.  Our mandate is to settle claims in a fair and enduring way and we rely on principles of law to do that.  The DoddsHigh Court decision has raised some questions that we require clarity on if we are able to meet our objective of fair and enduring settlements.  

“That is the reason for appeal, to gain better clarity from the Courts on questions such as whether Southern Response has a legal obligation to go back in time to claims settled on a full and final basis, and pay people more than they were entitled to at the time their claim was settled,” Mr Honeybone said.

“We believe that not appealing would have the effect of creating more uncertainty for Southern Response customers. By gaining better clarity on this case, we will be in a better position to respond to other people in a similar situation without needing to involve the Courts.“