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Wheelchair vehicles: High Court rejects NZTA attempt to kill case

on November 30 2020 | in Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

A High Court judge has thrown out a New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) attempt to quash a claim for damages expected to exceed $5 million.

Lawyers for the NZTA and its offshoot the Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association (LVVTA) wanted a lawsuit brought by vehicle conversion company Drive NZ Classic Ltd (DNZC) dismissed because it “discloses no reasonably arguable cause of action.”

• Banned wheelchair-access vehicle maker sues NZ transport bodies

Justice Peters, citing a number of legal precedents, rejected the NZTA and LVVTA application. Justice Peters’ written summation was dated November 13. The DNZC case against the NZTA and LVVTA is expected to proceed next year. Lawyers for DNZC indicated it would be revisiting its damages claim.

DNZC, formerly known as U-Drive Mobility (UDM), was converting Skoda Yeti models into wheelchair-access vehicles before the NZTA revoked certification for the vehicles and forced UDM to close in 2013.

LVVTA is named as first defendant and the NZTA as second defendant. The NZTA has pleaded contributory negligence as a defence, meaning it contends DNZC has a shared responsibility. As of November 13, the LVVTA had yet to file a statement of defence.

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