Law Reform Act 1936

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9A Claims for damages or compensation against estate of deceased owner where no administrator
  • (1) Where—

    • (a) Any person desires to claim damages or compensation on account of any event, whether happening before or after the commencement of this section, in respect of which a contract of insurance was in force at the time of the happening of the event indemnifying the insured from liability in respect of those damages or that compensation; and

    • (b) The insured is deceased and there is in New Zealand no administrator within the meaning of the Administration Act 1969 of the estate of the insured,—

    the person desiring to claim those damages or that compensation may give notice in writing to the insurer requiring the insurer to nominate some person to be the defendant in place of the insured in any action proposed to be brought in any Court claiming those damages or that compensation.

    (2) Within 14 days after the service on the insurer of such a notice, the insurer may, by notice in writing served on the claimant, nominate some person (with his consent) to be the defendant in the proposed action, and thereupon the claimant may sue the defendant so nominated, describing him as the administrator ad litem of the estate of the insured.

    (3) If within the said period of 14 days the insurer does not nominate a defendant as aforesaid, the Court in which an action claiming those damages or that compensation is intended to be commenced may, on the application of the claimant, appoint Public Trust to be the administrator ad litem of the estate of the insured for the purposes of the intended action, and it shall be the duty of Public Trust to act as such.

    (4) Where any such appointment is made, the claimant may sue Public Trust, describing it as the administrator ad litem of the estate of the insured.

    (5) The person nominated as the defendant by the insurer or, as the case may be, Public Trust shall be indemnified by the insurer in respect of any judgment against it (including the costs of the action and any costs awarded under subsection (6) of this section), and also in respect of all costs and expenses reasonably incurred by it in or in connection with the action irrespective of the result of the action, and, in the case of Public Trust, shall be entitled to recover from the insurer reasonable remuneration for its services:

    Provided that, where in any such action the plaintiff obtains judgment against the administrator ad litem, the judgment shall not be enforceable against the administrator ad litem by execution or otherwise except to the extent to which the insured was entitled to be indemnified by the insurer under the contract of insurance, and, to the extent to which the judgment is not so enforceable, the amount thereof shall be deemed to be a liability of the estate (if any) of the insured, and shall be enforceable accordingly against that estate.

    (6) Where in any action against Public Trust as administrator ad litem the plaintiff recovers judgment, the Court may award the plaintiff his costs of and incidental to the order appointing Public Trust as such administrator.

    (7) No appointment or nomination of an administrator ad litem under this section shall confer any rights or impose any obligations on Public Trust or on the person so nominated in respect of any other assets of the estate of the insured or any liabilities in connection with that estate.

    Section 9A was inserted by section 2 Law Reform Amendment Act 1957.

    Section 9A was amended, as from 1 March 2002, by section 170(1) Public Trust Act 2001 (2001 No 100) by substituting the words Public Trust for the words the Public Trustee wherever they occur. See clause 2 Public Trust Act Commencement Order 2002 (SR 2002/11).

    In subsection (1)(b) the Administration Act 1969, being the corresponding enactment in force, has been substituted for the repealed Administration Act 1952.

    Subsection (4) was amended, as from 1 March 2002, by section 170(1) Public Trust Act 2001 (2001 No 100) by substituting the word it for the word him. See clause 2 Public Trust Act Commencement Order 2002 (SR 2002/11).

    Subsection (5) was amended, as from 1 March 2002, by section 170(1) Public Trust Act 2001 (2001 No 100) by substituting the word it's for the word his. See clause 2 Public Trust Act Commencement Order 2002 (SR 2002/11).

    Subsection (5) was amended, as from 1 March 2002 by substituting the word it for the word him. This change was made without specific authority, but accords with the change made by section 170(1) Public Trust Act 2001 (2001 No 100) to subsection (4). See clause 2 Public Trust Act Commencement Order 2002 (SR 2002/11).