3 Mar 2015

Major holes in EQC case - lawyer

3:57 pm on 3 March 2015

A lawyer for the Earthquake Commission has told the High Court there are major holes in the case being taken against it by a Christchurch couple.

Cameron and Suzy Kelly.

Cameron and Suzy Kelly. Photo: RNZ / Conan Young

The Earthquake Commission is summing up after its decision to repair Cameron and Suzy Kelly's house was challenged.

The Kellys want their home to be rebuilt and are claiming $590,000 from EQC and their insurer, Southern Response.

It is the first time EQC had been taken to court.

An engineer providing expert evidence for the Kellys said their home had "gone for a ride" during the February 2011 earthquake and, although damage to the foundations could not be seen, it could be inferred this had happened.

EQC's lawyer Bruce Scott told the court the whole of Canterbury had gone for a ride during the earthquake and if this argument was accepted then every home in the region would need to be rebuilt.

Mr Scott said each property had to be treated individually.

He told the court that while foundations under the bathroom received quake damage, the balance of them were left untouched.

Mr Scott said there was no evidence of liquefaction or other land damage on the property and the uneven floor levels were what you would expect in a 100-year-old home.

He said one piece of evidence undermining the Kellys' case was the fact doors were still working.

He said this was not how houses behaved following earthquake damage to foundations.

Mr Scott said it was common for claimants to start looking for quake damage and find pre-existing damage they simply had not noticed before.

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