Leading US liability insurers including Chubb and American International Group are changing the terms of cover for corporate executives and board members faced with suits from disgruntled shareholders.
Moving from total coverage (minus deductible) many policies..
Ernst & Young’s (E&Y) legal expenses insurers will recoup US$125mn from several Lloyd’s syndicates and some AIG subsidiaries, following a New York jury decision (reported in the Wall Street Journal
, 30 July 2001).
Stemming from the..
New rules for professional indemnity insurance for solicitors come into effect from 1 September 2001. These include a requirement of disclosure of qualifying insurer, changes to the reimbursement right of the insurer and terms for..
Analysts expect the Policyholders’ Protection Board (PPB) will have to impose the first additional levy for eight years in the light of recent collapses.
Probably in the region of £70mn, this will far outstrip the £5mn..
As the Firestone/Ford tyre wrangle rolls on, Japanese parent company Bridgestone has stepped up their threat to sue US regulator NHTSA if it determines that Firestone tyres are defective and orders a further recall.
A US$2.1bn strengthening of reserves – around half in respect of old asbestos and environmental claims – has pushed CNA Financial into an operating loss of US$2.08bn (net loss US$1.8bn) for the second quarter of..
Along with increased provision of £1.7bn, bringing asbestos reserves to £8bn, Equitas (as other London market players) has tightened the terms of payment on asbestos claims. Defendants facing multitudes of claim have been opting for..
A consultation document is out on the appointment of an ombudsman to hear complaints about maladministration by professional bodies working in the National Health Service, including the General Medical Council. This stems from the Kennedy..
A professional negligence preaction protocol, in force in late July 2001, make provision for parties to negotiate unless a claim is denied in its entirety. It also provides that letters of claim that differ from..
Those involved in the fast-changing market of solicitors’ professional indemnity cover would do well to consider the findings of consumer magazine Which?
Examination of the real level of client dissatisfaction with solicitors suggests it could be..
Proposals in a green paper issued by the Lord Chancellor’s department would require solicitors who enforce court orders to be licensed, pay into a compensation fund and take out additional indemnity insurance. This is part..
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is to take on a regulatory role from 30 November this year for law firms carrying out mainstream investment business.
But only about 250 of the estimated 7,500 law firms currently..
The Law Commissions of England, Wales and Scotland are to recommend the repeal of the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act of 1930.
While this allowed injured parties to claim from an insurer where the defendant..
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is to target misleading labelling with fines of up to £5,000. Even though most consumers see through the guff, there is ‘far too much meaningless drivel and sloppy, emotive,..
American International Group has introduced an endorsement to its financial institutions liability policies to extend cover to professional services performed through the internet. Coverage limits are available up to US$25mn, based on overall revenue rather..
Philadelphia Insurance, through ePolicy.com Insurance Services, is offering online directors’ and officers’ cover for directors and officers of nonprofit organisations within 48 states. It covers officers and the entity itself for the usual range of..
‘There should, after all, be a market for this kind of claims management business, after removal of legal aid for most personal injury claims. The huge unknown is whether Claims Direct’s management can resuscitate its..
Following investigation by the Personal Investment Authority (PIA) of misselling of endowment and life insurance by Royal London staff, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has imposed one of the highest fines, £400,000.
But this is peanuts..
Supporting the original view of the Personal Investment Authority’s (PIA) ombudsman, the High Court has ruled that any windfalls, due to demutualisation or merger, received by victims of pension misselling are not to be set..
A note from Beachcroft Wansbroughs (whose Patricia Baxter represented the successful employer-defendant) confirms that courts are still seeking evidence of foreseeability of injury in stress-related claims.
In Lynn Jarrett v Aegis Security Enclosures Ltd
The report of the IIAC for 2000 shows ongoing review of the schedule of prescribed diseases and consideration of a number of potential categories of disablement. Discussions have also been held on the future of..
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) paid out £97mn to injured service personnel during 2000 (£83.4mn in 1999). The largest individual award was £3.67mn to a soldier now needing constant nursing care following shock from overhead..
New research from the Health & Safety Executive (Accident Investigation – the Drivers, Methods and Outcomes, CRR 344/2001) indicates many employers are failing to properly investigate and assess accidents at work. Aspects include:
A suit has been launched by two sick workers and two widows against Uniroyal Goodrich tyre plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama alleging workplace exposure to chemicals led to various types of cancer. Four other workers have..
A claim by a farmer alleging neurological damage from exposure to organophosphates (OPs) in sheep dip has been rejected by the High Court.
Mr Justice Morland is as yet to give reasons but a recent report..
Two McDonald’s fast-food franchise outlets in Camberley have been fined for repeatedly, and after warnings, employing children late at night on school days without permits. One child worked from 5pm until 2am on a school..
A government taskforce is due to report in November on replacement of the existing right to part-time work (under the Sex Discrimination Act) with a new right for parents to request flexible working hours. The..
Arrears of pay totalling almost £5mn have been paid since the introduction of the minimum wage two years ago, £3mn of this in the year ending April 2001.
Figures from the Department of Trade & Industry..
Following the same line as the Scottish Court of Session, in the recent MacDonald
claim the Court of Appeal has confirmed that discrimination against a lesbian teacher, based on sexual orientation, is not covered by..
The first study of its kind suggests the accident toll in Ireland could be reduced so as to save 1,500 lives a year, and many times more injuries.
Injury in Ireland
, by Elaine Scallan and colleagues..
New guidance notes from the Health & Safety Commission address the health and safety responsibilities of directors and board members of public sector and voluntary organisations relating to employees, contractors’ employees and members of the..
Figures from the Health & Safety Commission show a 34% increase in workplace deaths in 2000. The 295 fatalities pushed levels up from 0.8 to 1.1 per 100,000 employees.
The number of deaths in the construction..
Following an incident in which a crew of a Douglas DC-8 cargo aircraft almost suffocated, the US National Transportation Safety Board is pressing the Federal Aviation Administration to carry out tests on safety aspects of..
With broad upgrades completed and confirmation from the official inquiry that last year’s crash was caused by a burst tyre rather than poor maintenance, Concorde is due to fly again soon.
The families of the 97..
A letter of claim has been sent to American Airways, British Airways (BA) and other leading names by Watford-based transport litigation specialist Collins Solicitors.
It has been approached by many people believing they have suffered deep..
Australian law firm Slater & Gordon has filed suits in the Victoria Supreme Court against three international airlines – KLM, Qantas and British Airways – and the Australian air safety body CASA. The airlines are..
Sir John Krebs, head of the Food Standards Agency, has ordered detailed analysis of last year’s findings of environmental health officers’ inspections of restaurants and other food outlets. Of 235,969 inspected almost 120,000 were found..
The Law Society has sent a ‘green warning card’ to all solicitors, reminding them that in ‘every transaction [they] must consider whether contamination is an issue.’
This is not only in relation to household mortgages but..
The annual report of the Pesticides Safety Directorate claims all but one of its targets were met, and exceeded for completion of pesticide approvals.
Responsible for the registration of agricultural pesticides on behalf of DEFRA and..
A research report Environmental Protection Expenditure by Industry, 1999
, now published by DEFRA, shows an increase in company spending on integrating environmental protection rather than waiting to clean up at the end of a process.
Some 13 years after chemicals were accidentally dumped into the water supply of the Cornish town of Camelford, environment minister Michael Meacher has ordered a further (but not public, as the cause is already known..
ICI’s offer to purchase their homes has been accepted by more than 200 families in Weston, Cheshire. Others will benefit by a 20-year guarantee of property prices. The homes are located near ICI’s Runcorn works..
Newcastle City Council has pleaded guilty to two charges of knowingly using toxic ash from the Byker incinerator for making paths on allotments between 1995 and 1998.
The incinerator operator, Contract Heat & Power of Sawtry..
Research on behalf of the Belgian government, following the inclusion of 50kg of old transformer oil containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to 500 tonnes of animal feed in 1999, has brought disturbing factors to light.
An examination of punitive awards carried out by Cornell University professors Theodore Eisenberg and Martin Wells and analysts from the National Centre for State Courts finds that – contrary to popular belief – judges make..
A Miami-Dade County Circuit Court jury has awarded two Costa Rican plant nurseries US$29.5mn in respect of damage caused by their use of Benlate DF (a fungicide no longer on the market).
But DuPont will have..
The National Highways & Transportation Safety Authority (NHTSA) is to require that vehicles made after November 2003 incorporate automatic tyre pressure warnings. Two systems are under consideration in conjunction with auto-makers.
More than 150 compensation claims, arising from 203 deaths and many more injuries to which Firestone tyres have been linked by the National Highways Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) implicated, settled, the first case gets court..
Discovery that a massive 120-foot-long Raoul Dufy painting celebrating electricity is coated with asbestos has led to closure of a gallery in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. It is believed to have been..
10-Q filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission led to a 4.5% stock fall for Halliburton, the world’s largest oilfield services firm. This through the greater detail provided of asbestos-related claims dating back to the..
The Association of British Insurers has now set in place the insurance industry financed £5mn rescue package. It is designed to cover 90% of the value of those pre-1972 asbestos injuries, unpaid as a result..
Rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) sees the development of asbestos claims as significant, but not crippling, for the insurance industry. Differing from Tillinghast-Towers Perrin’s expectation that 60% of final costs of US$200bn will be..
US$3bn punitive damages jury award reduced
to US$100mn by Los Angeles trial judge Charles McCoy. Philip Morris had sought that the verdict, based on deception of customers regarding the risks of smoking, be set aside..
Ten government-sponsored inquiries
– none of them a ‘public inquiry’ – are now running on aspects of foot-and-mouth (F&M) disease. Among matters considered will be: how the disease entered Britain and the effectiveness of response;..
An article in Time
(16 July 2001) discusses the use of chromate copper arsenate (CCA) infused into 98% of wood destined for outdoor use, including children’s playgrounds, in the US. Although there is no hard..
The annual report of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate showed less than 0.5% of all meat, fish, eggs and dairy products tested last year showed any detectable residue of veterinary medicines.
The tests, carried through for the..
Besides the well known allergy risks, it appears some peanut butters may contain ‘unacceptable’ levels of aflatoxin, a natural contaminant linked to liver cancer.
This was identified in tests carried out for the consumer magazine Which?
Following up suspicions voiced some years ago of food contamination from plastic wrappers, research carried out by the independent Steins Laboratory has been published in Denmark’s leading business magazine, Borsens Nyhedsmagasin
Also reported in the Financial..
The government has asked the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), an independent advisory body, to establish a broad-based working group to review the risks associated with internal radiation emitters (radionuclides)..
A request on behalf of more than 700 Gulf War veterans that their claims be investigated by an independent mediator have been rejected in that the Ministry of Defence does not accept legal liability for..
A study published in the 27 June 2001 issue of the American Medical Association
journal gives some support to theories that the triple measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) has an association with childhood autism.
The annual report of the Medical Defence Union (MDU) calls for change to the 1948 Law Reform Act. Under this act severely damaged patients who receive compensation must be given private medical care. The MDU..
A skiing accident led to the quadriplegia of a trainee teacher, and pointed to the negligence of the employer and the field operator. The award was reduced by 20% for contributory negligence as he had..
An employment agency, continuing to refer staff to a firm having received several complaints about sexual harassment, contributed to the harassment suffered by a person placed in work. It was ordered to contribute A$5,000 to..
Railtrack was found liable for failure to prevent pigeon mess under a bridge. As owner of the bridge, with knowledge of and means to prevent nuisance caused by feral pigeons to road users underneath, Railtrack..
Where a claim form is served within the prescribed time, a court has discretion to grant an extension of time for the service of particulars.
Totty v Snowden;
Hewitt v Wirral and West Cheshire Community NHS..
Where compensation is due for loss sustained due to the misselling of a pension, any windfall cash received (due to demutualisation of the insurer in the case at issue) should not be set against that..
The official receiver was not entitled to obtain documents from former solicitors and accountants of a liquidated company for use as evidence in proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
In re Pantmaenog Timber Co..
In refusing leave to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal, the Lords have confirmed personal liability for advice given by a wide range of professionals, in special circumstances.
Professional perils •
Unsurprising in any context, the Court of Appeal, in this case, held that the publication of articles calculated to incite racial hatred of an individual was capable of amounting to harassment under the Protection from..
Strict liability for injuries suffered by a holidaymaker only applies where there was an improper performance of the contract, a decision that dismissed an appeal, citing the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations..
Upholding the High Court decision against a claim for damages arising from injuries sustained from other jockeys during a race, the Court of Appeal has clarified the extent of duty of care between contestants.
Giant law firms Davies Arnold Cooper and Davies Lavery and Berrymans Lace Mawer are owed around £2mn for legal work carried out for Independent Insurance. The law firms claim the commercial policyholders, on whose behalf..
A claim alleging deafness due to work in a power station has been lodged in Dublin’s High Court. It is likely to be the first of many against the State Electricity Supply Board.
Army deafness compensation..
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) has refused to pay compensation to the victim of a road rage incident. After her attacker had driven aggressively and then backed into her vehicle, Ann MacDonald stood in..
Some of the police officers injured in the Bradford race riots are planning legal action to obtain compensation from their police authority for their injuries. More than 260 officers were hurt and 46 were still..
The High Court has dismissed a £1mn damages claim by businessman Ali Daghir, who was wrongfully jailed in 1991 for exporting nuclear triggers to Iraq.
High Court judge Mr Justice Gray said Mr Daghir had failed..
Three directors of collapsed retirement advice firm Knight Williams & Co have lodged claims in the High Court against the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as successor to the Securities & Investment Board (SIB). They seek..
The four Equitable Life action groups have joined forces to seek £2.6bn from the Treasury to ‘redress the failures of successive regulators’. Publication of the internal inquiry into the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) handling of..
The Court of Appeal failed to set guidelines for other cases when it ruled that the £350 premium in the whiplash claim of Callery v Gray
(alias the Insurance Industry v Claims Direct
) was reasonable..
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