Matsuoka v Zambion Ltd [2018] NZDC 25761

Published 17 May 2019

Abuse of process — negligence — Employment Court — negligent misstatement — Fair Trading Act 1986 — Opai v Culpan [2017] NZHC 1036 — Dotcom v District Court at North Shore [2017] NZHC 3158. The plaintiff brought claims against the defendants in tort and also under the Fair Trading Act, seeking general damages of $25,000. The plaintiff, who had been party to extensive litigation with his former employer in the Employment Court, had earlier succeeded against the defendant's strike out application, bringing the case into discovery process. The first defendant, the payroll service provider for the plaintiff's former employer, was subject to a preservation order, with the cost of this process falling on the plaintiff. The defendant charged out initially at $450 per hour. The plaintiff took the defendant to Court challenging the charge out rate and had the rate reduced to $300 per hour. The claims of deceit and negligent misstatement stemmed from that litigation. The Judge struck out the plaintiff's claims, finding that the plaintiff was effectively seeking to pursue the defendants in one Court when the issue is properly addressed in another, and that that was an abuse of process. Costs were awarded to the defendants on a 2B basis. Judgment Date: 13 December 2018.