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Carter Holt loses leaky school legal bid

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/07/2016

Carter Holt Harvey has failed to overturn a claim that it's liable for the cost of fixing about 890 leaky school buildings that used one of its cladding products.

In a judgment released on Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed the building products maker's case against the minister, ministry and secretary for education, who are seeking to recover the costs of fixing up the schools.

It has also been ordered to pay them $45,000 in costs.

Auckland-based CHH had wanted the 10-year limitation period on claims under the Building Act applied to a suit brought by the Ministry of Education.

But the court says that applies to building work and not building products.

The court allowed the ministry's cross-appeal against decision barring it from mounting a case that the company had negligently misstated a variety of claims about the plywood cladding product, known as shadowclad.

The ministry launched a $1.5 billion action against cladding manufacturers CHH, James Hardie and CSR in April 2013, and has since reached confidential settlements with James Hardie and CSR.

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