In a recent case the Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court on the issue of when the Plaintiff suffered a loss. The claim was filed too late and was struck out…

The Plaintiff purchased a motel in 2005 and the Council negligently omitted to release information about the earthquake fault where the motel was situated.

The owner did not discover the negligence until it came to their attention when the Council proposed an exclusion zone in 2010.

Unfortunately for the owners they delayed issuing proceedings until 2012.

The Court of Appeal held that they were out of time to issue the proceedings as the six-year time limit ran from when they purchased the motel in 2005, not when they learned of the Council’s negligence in 2010.

This was because the loss they suffered was from paying too much for the motel (on an earthquake fault) in 2005, and not from a loss in value when they and the public found out about the diminished value in 2010.

It is important to get advice as soon as you find out about an issue as the delay from 2010 until 2012 proved fatal in this case. The owners needed to issue proceedings before the 6 years ran out in 2011.