The Court of Appeal says a couple who wish to sue the Army for misfeasance in public office can go ahead with their action.
The case arises from the collapse in 1994 of a bridge built by the army which led to Keith and Margaret Berryman's King Country farm.
A beekeeper died when the bridge collapsed and a Coroner later found that the Berrymans were substantially to blame for his death.
However, that finding was quashed by the High Court earlier this year.
The Berrymans are seeking damages from the Defence Force through their misfeasance claim.
The Defence Force asked the Court of Appeal to strike out the proceedings, but the court has ruled that it can go ahead in a decision issued on Thursday.