Appeal judges have ruled that Canterbury homeowners can mount a class action against their insurer more than six years after earthquakes damaged their homes.

The Court of Appeal has said the homeowners can challenge Southern Response as a group, rather than as individuals, on allegations of breach of contract and breach of good faith.

The matter is now likely to be heard in the High Court, although it is still subject to appeal.

Southern Response Class Action solicitor Grant Cameron welcomed the ruling.


"I think the court of appeal has expressed natural frustration at these proceedings having being held up so long," he said.

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Cameron said the ruling essentially says High Court Justice David Gendall was right to allow a representative action, which would be a just and efficient means of dealing with the claims.

The Court of Appeal also envisages that Southern Response, set up by AMI to deal with earthquake claims, tell other potential claimants about the proceedings.

"We think the new Government will probably take a great interest in now getting the matter moving forward so, yes we expect action," Cameron added.

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Southern Response said in July it believed a group action would delay the settlement of individual claims.