13 November 2001 • Lloyd’s • Insurance liability consultant Nick Stanbury (formerly of the Legal Protection Group and Syndicate 702) provides a comprehensive overview of the structure and operation of this uncertain and topical business,..
Despite a rise in gross premiums from £295.5mn to £413.7mn, Lloyd’s syndicate SVB has posted an interim operating loss of £327m. This came chiefly from syndicate 1212 arising from US professional indemnity business, US directors’..
In the wake of the destruction of the World Trade Center and resultant shrinkage of insurance capacity with an expected upmove of premium levels, Marsh & McLennan has formed a new Bermuda-based insurer, Axis Specialty.
A major confrontation is developing as World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein seeks US$7.2bn from his insurers. Rejecting his approach that the crash into each tower constituted a ‘separate occurrence’, they argue the coordination of..
Following moves by US regulators to check the financial strength of Lloyd’s and London market insurers, lobbying from both has led to relaxation of funding requirements.
The normal 100% of gross liability funding demanded from foreign..
With the introduction of the government’s Revitalising Health & Safety strategy, occupational health has been placed firmly on the agenda for employers.
Meredith Tweedie of AIG Medical & Rehabilitation examines how a combined approach to preventive..
The furore over the government’s placing of Railtrack into ‘railway administration’ under the Railways Act of 1993 has led to the usual scattergun threats of litigation.
Potential targets for the 300,000 shareholders – ranging from powerful..
The cause of the midair explosion over the Black Sea of a Russian passenger Tupolev-154 charter flight from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, with the loss of 78 passengers and crew, has been admitted to have..
Deaths from the crash of a Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) McDonnell Douglas MD-87, while taking off in fog at Milan’s smaller Linate airport, total 118 – 104 passengers, six crew, four baggage handlers and the..
TotalFinaElf (TFE) and a number of its senior executives are to be charged in a French court for marine pollution and complicity in endangering human life following the loss of the Erika
tanker in 1999.
At least 29 people died, hundreds were injured and buildings damaged for several kilometres around by an explosion at the Grande Paroisse (TotalFinaElf subsidiary) AZF fertiliser factory in Toulouse on 21 September.
Talk of terrorism has..
Along with the release of data from the Texas Department of Insurance showing a 600% increase in mould claims over the past 18 months, comes its proposal to cap basic mould coverage under homeowners’ policies..
A woman chief inspector’s claim of ‘detriment’ when her superior officer decided that she should no longer conduct staff appraisals – although without demotion or loss of pay – was rejected.This was in line with..
Disfiguration from ear piercing, leading to collapse of ear
and need for further reconstructive surgery, sees damages of £13,900.
Healey v H Warner • Barnsley County Court •
The Telegraph • 6 October 2001
Some 220 former Lloyd’s Names have been given leave to appeal last November’s High Court ruling. This cleared Lloyd’s of alleged fraud in concealing the extent of asbestos loss risks. Hearings are due to start..
As the first month’s lawyer-led moratorium on claims from the destruction of the World Trade Center comes to an end, defendant and plaintiff lawyers are calling for a mechanism for out-of-court compensation.
At the same..
Following the Airline Bill’s speedy order for exclusive jurisdiction over all air-related World Trade Center suits to an as-yet-unspecified judge in a Manhattan District Court, legal and political thought is addressing the full range of..
The Legal Services Commission has issued draft guidance on proposals for legal aid funding for individuals to be represented at inquests. Claimants and their lawyers will welcome this additional aid to seeking evidence for use..
Among recommendations to be put to the government from the inquiry headed by Denise Kingsmill, head of the Competition Commission, are additional reportage of staff matters in companies’ annual reports.
In particular, this would include information..
The latest Advanced Studies report dealing with professional indemnity insurance has been published, providing a reference text addressing points of concern and looking to the future.
Giving a summary of legal liabilities and policy wordings, it..
Legislation has been announced by Australia’s assistant treasurer enabling compensation for personal injury to be paid through tax-free structured settlements. The detail has been developed in conjunction with the Structured Settlements Group (SSG) (see article..
While arguments rage around many aspects of after-the-event insurance premiums, Abbey Legal Protection, provider for the Law Society’s Accident Line, has restructured – upwards – on the basis of experience.
The cheapest cover has risen by..
Claims Direct has confirmed its intention to introduce three types of policy early next year, replacing the standard £1,250 product.
Simple and undisputed claims, such as car rear-end collisions, would be covered for £500, with two..
The proliferation of ‘bolt-on’ legal protection insurance covering uninsured loss recovery, offered by insurers, brokers and motoring organisations and sometimes provided as a standard benefit with credit and other cards, can present problems for the..
A challenge to after-the-event (ATE) insurance, citing the Consumer Credit Act, is due for judicial consideration probably before the end of the year.
Action by motor insurer Highway, Tilby v Perfect Pizza
, is the leader of..
The PAX+ scheme, negotiated some years ago by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and covering around 25% of all service personnel, has run into problems.
It is a voluntary facility for those who wish to enhance..
With each new estimate pushing the figure higher, Tillinghast has reforecast global insurance losses from an estimate of US$30bn up to US$58bn. Of this, it expects direct liability to lie between US$5bn and US$20bn.
Standard & Poor’s has reported continued loss in motor insurance. Despite a 20% overall increase in premiums in the last year, the industry’s combined ration rose by a mere 5% to 113%.The highest premium increases..
The new Motor Insurance Database, managed by Experian on behalf of the Motor Insurers’ Information Centre, provides police with a roadside record of all insured private drivers. This as a tool to combat the ever-growing..
Experian has added 3.2mn directors of UK companies to its online database, giving, among other benefits, assistance in tracking down dishonest individuals who hide behind false information, such as addresses, in returns to Companies House...
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has warned members that, in giving property valuations, they should refer to uncertainties arising from the turbulence of the world economy and financial markets. This is while still using..
Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), facing the bulk of the £1bn negligence claim brought by Barings’ liquidator (KPMG) in respect of losses through the action of Nick Leeson, has agreed settlement for undisclosed sum.
Winterthur Life has set aside £10mn to compensation 10,000 customers missold endowment mortgage products. Fined £500,000 by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), this is less than may be faced by other companies still under investigation.
The report of the Faculty & Institute of Actuaries (FIA) into role of actuaries in troubled life insurer Equitable has been described in a statement by the company as a whitewash: ‘We are surprised the..
The Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) internal report into its role in the problems of Equitable Life is more critical than expected.
While pointing out the damage was done when the FSA assumed in that area in..
Moves by the European parliament to strengthen the requirements of worker consultation by management are opposed by the Confederation of British Industry.
If the provisions make their way through many hurdles to finalisation, then firms with..
The annual report of the Advisory, Conciliation & Arbitration Service (ACAS) shows a modest increase of 1.3% in matters dealt with by conciliators, to a total of 105,304. These included a 21% rise in complaints..
The employment risk costs of British firms could be cut by £1.5bn a year, according to a joint study by Marsh and researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University. Sickness absence alone costs more than £10bn.
Following 18 months of visits and research, the Irish Environmental Health Officers’ Association has called for a full ban on smoking in pubs, bars and restaurants, claiming poor ventilation is putting staff at risk.
An employment tribunal has ruled that four pregnant air stewardesses, although not habitually working in England and employed under a predominantly US contract, may pursue grievances against United Airlines under English, rather than US, law.
Spurred by criticism from trade union Unison, the Health & Safety Executive has withdrawn a recent leaflet on work-related stress. Criticism was focused on the alleged encouragement of employees to change jobs rather than remove..
Work by Dr Shantha Rajaratnam and colleagues of the University of Guildford is published in The Lancet
late September. This argues that shift work creates an undue risk to health and seeks legislation to protect..
The Institute of Occupational Safety & Health, backed by Norwich Union, has developed a website to provide appropriate health and safety information for small business startups.
A free leaflet is to be distributed widely, giving information..
Strategic Plan 2001/4, launched by the Health & Safety Commission (HSC), sets out priorities for reducing work-related injuries and ill health over the next three years.
Based on widespread consultation, aims are to reduce the number..
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), supported by the ABI, CBI and TUC, has called on employers to overhaul their accident investigation procedures, providing assistance through a 10-point prompt list.
Laurence Williams, head of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, has warned of a shortage of skilled safety inspectors and lack of resources to recruit appropriately skilled personnel.
This situation could disrupt plans for decommissioning and of new..
Russian nuclear submarine Kursk
has been raised and towed to shore for the removal of the remains of the crew, and of nuclear components and missiles.
It is unlikely the cause of loss, whether internal explosion..
An emergency bill has been passed enabling the US government to act as XS insurer of last resort for losses exceeding US$100mn.
It also stipulates any liability faced by American Airlines or United Airlines for their..
Alaska Airlines will not fight any compensation claims from the January 2000 crash of flight 261, which killed 88 people.
The airline has asked the court to refer all remaining suits to mediation in an attempt..
Thirteen residents of the village of Great Hallingbury in Essex have launched claims against Korean Air for trauma resulting from the crash of a Boeing 747 at Stansted on 22 December 1999.
They were so close..
Nine years after the grounding of the Liberian-flag tanker Braer
off the Shetland Islands, all claims have been settled or agreed.
Skuld Club and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund have paid £48.2mn between all but..
Of the 20mn homes in the UK, several hundred thousand are likely to suffer environmental problems such as foundations built on poorly treated industrial sites or on flood plains, according to the Home Envirosearch Report
The Environment Agency has produced a new Guide for Local Authorities
on the application of Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act (brought into force in England in April 2000 and providing for identification and..
The annual report of the Pesticide Residues Committee summarises results from 2,300 samples of imported and home produced food, tested for a wide range of pesticides. Details have already been published in quarterly reports.
The report of the Environment Agency for 2000 shows an increase in the number of prosecutions for serious pollution incidents, up from 566 the previous year to 694.
Much of this increase related to water, with..
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned lower court proinsurer rulings on gradual but unintended pollution. It held that in 1970 insurers misrepresented the intent of sudden and accidental pollution exclusions to the regulator.
This appears to..
An article in the John Liner Review
of July 2001 by Marsh senior vice-president Carole Lynn Proferes provides a detailed review of the growth of employment practices liability (EPL) claims and exposures.
While the Equal Employment..
The Supreme Court has declined to review a retroactive decision of the Louisiana court banning cities from suing gunmakers to recover costs of gun violence.
This is an attempt to revive Morial v Smith & Wesson
The ‘reckless indifference’ of Kmart in the selling of a shotgun to a known paranoid schizophrenic has led to US$1.5mn punitive damage and US$1.5mn compensation. This was a jury award to the parents of 19-year-old..
California’s Proposition 65, passed in 1986, allows suits against businesses for subjecting one or more people to any of about 800 potentially harmful chemicals, if they do not carry proper warnings.
Unsurprisingly, suits have proliferated. Proposed..
Failure to pay a US$9,500 claim for theft of a van has left Warrior Insurance liable to pay almost US$5mn. It was found guilty of ‘outrageous consumer fraud, deceptive practices and misrepresentations’ by its actions,..
After taking samples of dust from more than 100 World Trade Center sites, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found just over one-third contained ‘slightly’ more than 1% asbestos, the level at which something is..
Armstrong World Industries and its related units, in chapter 11 bankruptcy, have won an extension as the only parties allowed to put forward reorganisation plans until at least 5 April 2002.
This is the second extension..
Motor parts manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corp is to seek voluntary bankruptcy protection in face of rising asbestos claims. This is part of a restructuring plan allowing Federal-Mogul to continue payments to claimants while maintaining its business..
Owens Corning has won court approval for the sharing of confidential information about pending and resolved asbestos-related claims with parties representing creditors and claimants in its chapter 11 case.
This will allow the recipients to put..
The annual congress of the European Respiratory Society warned of an expected increase in asbestos-caused cancers for another 20 years.
Antti Tassavainen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health reported 30,000 new cases of mesothelioma or..
Jury bucks smoking claim to asbestos exposure
during his work as a bricklayer. An Ohio jury rejected the claim by David Tompkin’s widow, accepting Big Tobacco arguments that his lung disease was caused by exposure..
The £60mn vCJD compensation trust fund
is now established, with payments to start before year end following payments of £25,000 already made to most families from the interim trust. Initially intended to provide sufficient funds..
Final proposals for EU regulation of the general principles and requirements of food law, the establishment of the European Food Authority operative from 1 January 2002 and the setting of procedures in matters of food..
A consultation document, seeking views from ‘everyone with an interest in the future of farming and food in this country’ has been published by the Farming & Food Policy Commission. Response is required by 26..
Although the mobile phone industry is working to a deadline of March 2002, some manufacturers will be supplying details of radiation emission levels for display in shops from October of this year. This follows agreement..
In 1981 more than 400 people died and 17,000 fell sick, some permanently, from the use of industrial-grade rape seed oil disguised as olive oil. The factory owners responsible were jailed in 1983 but the..
Firestone has agreed to recall 3.5mn tyres (in addition to the 6.5mn recalled in August 2000) following an engineering analysis conducted by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This identified defects in certain Wilderness..
A Philadelphia jury has awarded dental hygienist Kathy Falcone US$842,000 (more than US$1.2mn with interest) in respect of a latex allergy suffered when she used what she believed were safe gloves on the advice of..
A preliminary report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) has said bronchiolitis obliterans – a rare disease that causes permanent damage to lung tissue – suffered by eight workers over recent..
Leading manufacturer of kidney dialysis machines Baxter International has issued a global recall of Series A equipment following the deaths of 21 people in Croatia over two days.
The dead were known to have been using..
In the first Propulsid case to come to court, alleging heart problems and other ailments from using the heartburn drug, a New Jersey jury awarded US$100mn compensatory damages among 10 claimants.The drug was recalled last..
The increased level of noise from night flights at Heathrow airport since 1993 was a breach of respect for private and family life and home under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
A surveyor, instructed to report on a property with specific attention to advice on whether it would be affected by aircraft noise, negligently reported it was unlikely to suffer significant effect.
The Court of Appeal had..
A private pretrial meeting of experts from both sides of a medical negligence case, ordered by the court in line with rule 35.12 of the Civil Procedure Rules, did not raise any question of contravention..
The legislation creating procedures for courts martial was not incompatible with rights guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights. This was in dismissal of nine out of 10 unrelated cases arising from court martial..
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered the balance between dismissal for economic, technical or organisational (ETO) reasons entailing changes to the workforce (covered by TUPE Reg 8(2)) and whether this can constitute a dismissal..
The reorganisation of a business, resulting in certain employees being required to do different jobs, is not conclusive of redundancy. A tribunal must consider whether the change had any effect, and if so, what.
For purposes of a tribunal, the position of controlling shareholder of a company, while a significant factor in determination, is not necessarily incompatible with the status of employee.
Connolly v Sellers Arenascene Ltd • Court of..
A chief constable’s refusal to give a reference for a police officer who had brought proceedings against him in an industrial tribunal was justified.
This was not ‘by reason that’ the constable had brought proceedings (under..
A planning authority that required a developer to construct a footpath, emerging on to a road where visibility was limited, owed a duty of care to a pedestrian who was knocked down while crossing the..
The Court of Appeal has ruled that, while use of existing before-the-event (BTE) insurance is preferable, in certain circumstances a claimant may recover additional premium paid for after-the-event (ATE) cover – though the ruling was..
West Country owner of holiday cottages Bernie Rowe is, with a number of other rural business people, preparing a negligence claim alleging that ministerial statements telling people to keep out of the countryside had foreseeably..
Research commissioned by the Environment Agency from Flood Hazard Research Group indicates that families whose homes were flooded up to three years ago are still suffering health problems.
Physical illnesses such a coughs, skin problems and..
The parents of 12-year-old Jonathan Attwell, who fell to his death from Snowdon, plan to take civil action against the Scout Association following the acquittal on manslaughter charges of the Scout master.
A key feature of..
More than 150 former staff of failed Independent Insurance, led by former commercial underwriter Phil Angus, have launched action on redundancy issues.
Specifically, they claim that liquidator Pricewaterhouse-Coopers failed to consult adequately before making more than..
A high court hearing, expected to run towards the end of the year, has commenced on an action by Unilever’s Superannuation Fund against Mercury Asset Management (MAM). It alleges that in 1997 it allowed one..
Railtrack Group may sue its former regulator, Tom Winsor, alleging failure in his duties under section 4 of the 1993 Railways Act, citing his highly critical ‘public and private comments’.
Under section 4 the regulator has..
St Paul Insurance, having paid £13.5mn in compensation arising from the 31-death rail crash at Paddington in 1999 – it expects claims for a further £10mn – is seeking clarification of Railtrack’s contribution.
Arbitration proceedings have..
Despite the range and importance of insurance and liability issues arising from 11 September, LRI
will not be running a regular section under this heading.
Not only will those who need to keep a close track..