Adina Thorn Lawyers, with the assistance of Harbour Litigation Funding, is proposing to launch Class Action litigation against the manufacturers of 500E Steel Mesh on behalf of owners who register to participate. Please find attached a Media Release for immediate release. We expect there will be significant public interest in the Action as the owners of all buildings constructed in the past 4 years (since 2012) are invited to register.
Further information can be found at www.steelclassaction.co.nz
To date the consumer angle has been untold, though 2 Commerce Commission inquiries into mesh and Fair Trading are ongoing. A result is hoped to be found by the end of the year. This analysis piece did touch on it a little http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/301393/steel-mesh-is-near-enough-good-enough but now with the potential Class Action the full story may come to light. It will be good to hopefully have assurances that our houses are built right for the conditions, especially in Christchurch with TC3 properties. If not we do need to know so solutions can be found.
Over the past few months MBIE have been urging homeowners not to worry, saying that house floors made of any seismic mesh were definitely stronger than floors of houses built before 2011.
A recent independent test of a mesh sheet from Steel & Tube showed it was more than two times stronger than the old standard. But it also showed it was only half as strong as the new standard. And only half as strong as Steel & Tube said it was on its own in-house test certificate.
Branz has made clear back in October 2013 the correlation between the mesh standard and quake damage: “Due to the poor performance of concrete slabs in the earthquakes, the Building Code compliance document B1 Structure was amended to require concrete slab-on-ground floors to be reinforced with grade 500E ductile reinforcing mesh in accordance with AS/NZS 4671:2001” (Build 138)
That report can be found here
The steel mesh story first appeared here - http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/299144/questions-over-quake-mesh-certification - and the first major project to be found with sub standard steel was the Huntly bypass - http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/305400/steel-buyers-were-told-price-'too-low'
If you are concerned make sure you visit the www.steelclassaction.co.nz website and read up on this and I personally hope that the result, especially for our houses in Christchurch on vulnerable land, that the steel is of correct quality standards. Also, if you are OK with talking to Radio New Zealand please contact me as they are doing a story for tonight and news tomorrow.
Radio New Zealand story online here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/312238/steel-mesh-could-compromise-house-insurance