Multiple Causes of Loss and Claims for Contribution (2013)
In Marlborough District Council v Altimarloch Joint Venture Ltd1 the New Zealand Supreme Court dealt with a number of inter-related questions. These were: whether a council owed a duty of care to purchasers of land in issuing a Land Information Memorandum which misstated the water rights associated with the land; whether damages payable by the vendors, for similarly misrepresenting the water rights, should be based on the difference between the value of the land contracted for and the value obtained or on the cost of providing the represented quantity of water; whether the council could be seen to have caused the purchasers to suffer loss in circumstances where the purchasers retained the ability to claim damages for misrepresentation under the contract with the vendors; and whether the vendors could obtain an order for contribution in equity from the council. The article examines and evaluates the differing views expressed by the members of the Court about each of these issues. In the result the vendors’ claim for contribution was rejected, which decision has left the law in an unsatisfactory state. Basing the right to claim contribution on the question whether enforcement by a plaintiff against person A discharges, in whole or part, any obligation to pay the plaintiff owed by person B would resolve the problem.
CitationTodd S (2013). Multiple Causes of Loss and Claims for Contribution. New Zealand Universities Law Review. 25(5). 960-979. PUBLISHER: This article was first published by Thomson Reuters in the New Zealand Universities Law Review and should be cited as Stephen Todd “Multiple Causes of Loss and Claims for Contribution” (2013) 25 NZULR 960. For all subscription inquiries please phone, from New Zealand: 0800 10 60 60, from Overseas: +64 4 801 0001 or see online at www.thomsonreuters.co.nz.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research48 - Law and legal studies::4806 - Private law and civil obligations::480601 - Contract law
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