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A leaky building lawsuit against cladding manufacturer James Hardie is looking more likely to expand into a class action, after more than 60 property owners have come forward as potential claimants in less than a week.

Leaky building law firm Parker & Associates have lodged High Court proceedings against the international building materials company. It announced yesterday that 65 property owners had approached them as potential claimants with another 15 already working with them before they filed the claim.

Mr Parker urged property owners who think they might be affected to move quickly and explore their eligibility for a claim before the December cut-off.

The action will be self-funded because it is not underwritten by a litigation funder.

James Hardie has indicated it will vigorously defend the claim.The company have previously denied any fault with the product, which was used in thousands of homes in this country.

The 15-year deadline for claims relates a recent Court of Appeal judgment in a law suit on leaky schools.

The court ruled that a product liability claim against a cladding manufacturer was "arguable" and not subject to the 10 year limitation period under the Building Act, but proceedings lodged after more than 15 years are barred.

Source: NZHerald

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