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Source: Shine Lawyers

An estimated 350 Edgecumbe flood victims could have their day in court after international law firm, Shine Lawyers, filed proceedings in the Rotorua High Court seeking compensation on behalf of all residents and property owners who suffered loss in the catastrophic event in April 2017.  

“Shine Lawyers will host an information evening on Thursday 23 November 2023 from 5:30pm -7:30pm at the Reception Lounge of the Edgecumbe War Memorial Hall for the hundreds of victims who could be eligible to join” said Hamish Davies, Senior Associate at Shine Lawyers.  

“Our firm filed an application to progress a class action in the High Court in February this year. We are seeking compensation for all people and entities who suffered property damage, lost or had possessions destroyed, experienced business interruption, loss of income and those who suffered or continue to suffer from the psychological impacts following the event.  

“We believe it’s critical that those impacted by the floods understand their rights to join the action. We’ll be coming to the community in a fortnight to answer questions and to let the Edgecumbe community know that we’re here to help.  

“Significantly, this action covers those who were insured and uninsured for their loss,” he said.  

On 6 April 2017, the town of Edgecumbe was inundated after a floodwall on the Rangitāiki River failed. About 70 percent of the town was impacted by the deluge, damaging hundreds of properties. 

“Property and business owners were left devastated by these floods. Six years on and some homes are still uninhabitable. Edgecumbe residents still show signs of trauma after the tragedy, and some businesses were forced to shut down. Sadly, we believe this was all preventable.

Our claim alleges that the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) could and should have prevented the floodwall from failing, and as a consequence, the Council should be held accountable for the damage caused,” said Davies.

The High Court proceeding currently has five lead representatives who represent the different circumstances of affected people. The circumstances include those that were either insured or uninsured and suffered loss and damage to home, contents, stock and business, incurred temporary accommodation and storage costs and lost income. Hundreds of others have registered their interest in the action.  

Shine has also engaged counsel, Grant Shand, who is an experienced natural disaster lawyer to assist with this claim.  

The next step is for the Court to schedule the hearing of the application to have the claim certified as a class action.

To find out more, head to:  

About Shine Lawyers NZ Class Action Team

·       Shine Lawyers is a specialist litigation firm predominantly representing plaintiffs. Shine Lawyers’ associated company in Australia is one of the largest class action and plaintiff litigation firms in Australasia. 

·       In New Zealand, Shine Lawyers has previously conducted major class actions, including a representative test case on behalf of Christchurch homeowners against the Earthquake Commission.