Carter Holt settles Laserframe case with $1.5m Chch donation
Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) will contribute $1.5 million to the Christchurch rebuild to settle a Commerce Commission lawsuit.
The commission's proceedings, bought under the Fair Trading Act, related to the sale and marketing of Laserframe timber by CHH between 1998 and 2003.
In October 2006, CHH was fined $900,000 after it pleaded guilty to criminal charges brought by the commission.
The charges were laid after it was found that some Laserframe timber did not meet the standard for structural timber, despite CHH claims that it did.
The commission then filed civil proceedings to recover the losses that it alleged had been suffered by competitors and customers who purchased the timber.
“To avoid the high cost and uncertainty of outcome associated with pursuing these long-standing proceedings, we have agreed to settle with CHH,” Commerce Commission competition manager, Greg Allan, said.
“We believe it is in the public interest to resolve this case now in a way that will produce a tangible benefit for New Zealanders,” he said.
“Settling this case is part of a wider effort by the commission to resolve a number of long-standing cases, in order to focus on more current issues.”
As well as the ex gratia payment to the Christchurch rebuild, CHH agreed to contribute $100,000 toward the cost and inconvenience incurred by potential claimants, and $50,000 towards the commission's costs.
The company made no admission that any person suffered loss or damage from the sale of Laserframe timber.