Cladding Action against James Hardie

THE CHALLENGE

Specialist litigation law firm and leaky building experts, Parker & Associates first filed High Court proceedings against cladding manufacturer, James Hardie on behalf of leaky home claimants in August 2015. The claim alleges James Hardie was negligent in its design, manufacture and supply of Harditex cladding systems.

Parker & Associates wanted to publicise the claim to give other leaky home owners the chance to join the Cladding Action. Silvereye Communications was brought onboard to attract the attention of potential leaky homeowner claimants to join the self-funded group.

An effective campaign was required to explain the Cladding Action and to encourage potential claimants to enquire with Parker & Associates to determine their eligibility for joining.

THE APPROACH

Working closely with Parker & Associates, Silvereye lead a proactive campaign using a range of media to deliver the story and update on its progress.

Seminars were arranged in Tauranga, Auckland and Wellington and advertising utilised in local newspapers for leaky home owners interested in hearing more about the Cladding Action.

The biggest response though came from media coverage with developments and as the courts made rulings over the next two years.

Silvereye leveraged coverage off key dates: These included:

  • A second group of Titan Board homeowners added to the Cladding Action in December 2015
  • In October 2016 the High Court giving the group permission to proceed with a representative action, at that time the group also secured a short opt-in period for those who had not already issued proceedings
  • On appeal the group was given a much longer five-month period from September 2017 to increase its numbers.

OUR SUCCESS

Cladding action against James Hardie interview

Leaky home owner interview

Information and updates about the Cladding Action was reported in national, regional and community media. It was also broadcast on Stuff, TV3, TVOne, NewstalkZB, Radio Live and Radio New Zealand.

With the number of claimants at 65, before the hard op-in deadline of January 31 2018 was determined, Silvereye upped the anti. Case studies were developed telling the stories of group members. These were pitched to media and videos were made to feature on Parker & Assoicates website and social media channels.

Thanks to a final push, in the days leading up to deadline numbers went from 85 to reach a total of 161 on deadline day January 31, 2018 providing a strong funding base and the opportunity for a large and motivated group to pursue recovery.

Some media coverage

15 years of leaky homes and the brutal economics of owning one

Group of homeowners affected by leaky homes saga to bring class action suit

RadioLIVE: Our leaky home shame

Aucklanders living in denial in monolithic-clad ‘secret leakers’

Capital leaky home case clears last hurdle

Partial victory in leaky homes case against defective James Hardie cladding

Parker & Associates seeks to bring class suit against James Hardie in leaky homes case

Class action against cladding manufacturer