Double Handling Of Claim & Auckland Council Inefficiencies
More than 5 weeks have passed since Classique’s Mooring Dragging Claim was sent to the Auckland Council’s Claim Manager who assured Bolton that as soon as Classique was moved away from the temporary berth in Auckland for repairs assessment, the Claim would be looked at.
With expectations that the Claims department was there for that purpose, evidence of negligence surrounding the mooring’s certification & fitness for purpose was sent in with a request that in view of Consumer Guarantees Act
support, the Council would be sensible to accept liability & not waste time & funds which would be better spent on remedy to Classique & the craft she damaged as she dragged the purported Heavy Duty Mooring to Shoal Bay.
To move things along, after a Statement of Claim was lodged in Court, the Council Claims Department was informed that documents would be ready for serving to them in about a week, once Wellington has perused them but all that generated was an email from the Claims Department saying that the Claim would be passed over to Auckland Council’s Insurers & solicitor for a response, which duly arrived yesterday with rather ‘par for the course’ news –
It appears that the 2 solicitors it took to come to that conclusion were only reading the initial Claim without either knowing about or alternatively, ignoring that additional evidence which had been given to the Claims Department. Those solicitors read the mooring agreement of 2010 which superficially appears to absolve Auckland Council of any liability attributable to or caused by its employees, contractors or agents etc.
Those solicitors must also be conversant with the Consumer Guarantees Act, “Any service that you receive must meet guarantees that the service will be: carried out with reasonable care and skill, fit for any particular purpose that you’ve told the service provider about.”
These are heavy duty moorings, hired out & meant to be checked for security as all moorings have to be every
2 years. For 14 years it appears no one was responsible for having suitable mooring equipment installed in the 1st place & in the 7 servicings since then, noticing the deficiency for it to be recified.
A legal aspect apparently missed by those 2 solicitors is that a particular mooring with a precise location was allocated in 2010 & although the Claims Department was given information that after problems with that mooring & subsequent moorings, Classique ended up at the end of the row of moorings with no change of contract.
That last mooring seen dragged up the beach after that fateful dragging, was probably the most inadequate of the six laid down in 2000 for super yachts to use during the America’s Cup era back then.
If an internationally visiting super yacht had come to grief as a consequence, Auckland Council would be looking at a claim far in excess of Classique’s – so it’s rather a nonsense for them to be playing hard ball with a local citizen & original client since 2000.
The response from those 2 solicitors makes no allusion to the Consumer Guarantees Act so it will be interesting to see how that affects their thoughts on Classique’s Statement of Claim when it is served perhaps later this week.