Germany’s Allianz Globus MAT has set up an airline third party liability-on-the-ground scheme in partnership with Berkshire Hathaway group, the split being 45% to 55%. A charge of US$0.50 per passenger will give cover of..
Wellington Underwriting, syndicate 2020, has stopped writing professional liability business. Less than 2% of its total business it was seen as an ‘underperforming line’ and ‘lacking major critical mass’ compared with other lines.
Separately, Wellington is..
The Professional Risks Insurance Group (PRI) is to raise £130mn through flotation to set up an insurance company specialising in professional liability and related (D&O, warranty and indemnity and general liability) business, with market capitalization..
The UK Financial Services Agency (FSA) has ruled that listed assurers should pay fines for mis-selling from shareholder, rather than policyholder, funds. This follows the recent payment by Prudential of a record £650,000 fine from..
At 32%, residential conveyancing led to more professional negligence claims against solicitors last year than any other category. This according to figures from Zurich Professional, the second largest underwriter of solicitors’ indemnity. Conveyancing claims included..
As well as the recent well-publicised computer glitches, the UK’s part-privatised National Air Traffic Services (NATS) insurance programme could see premiums ‘go through the roof ’, according to industry sources at 1 July renewal due..
Not unexpectedly, New York District Court judge John Martin has denied the motion from Silverstein Properties Inc for summary judgment in the dispute with insurers as to whether the destruction of the World Trade Centre’s..
The US Supreme Court is to revisit issues of the size of punitive damages awards in relation to compensatory award in hearing an appeal by State Farm Mutual Insurance against the Utah Supreme Court’s reinstatement..
The majority of the more than three dozen insurers involved, including Travelers with US$240mn exposure and Hartford at US$150mn, have accepted the terms of the PPG US$2.7bn settlement. As each participant has signed a separate..
In refusing a widower caring for young children the same benefits as were available to widows, the Government was discriminating against him on grounds of sex.
A ‘friendly settlement’ of £21,000 damages and costs has already..
Fall from float when dressed as Santa
, resulting in serious hip and elbow injuries, led to carpenter’s claim of negligence against the Radcliffe Rotary Club. He was catapulted off the ‘sledge’ when it hit a..
3–5 September 2002 • Queens’ College, Cambridge • The usual lively format of masterclasses, symposium discussion and a galaxy of authorities – insurance and legal – examine the full gamut of hot issues.
Details and registration..
A new European Regulation (743/2002) sets a general framework to facilitate judicial co-operation in civil matters. This to cover the period January 2002 to December 2006. Further information can be found on the CMS Cameron..
The Council of the Law Society has approved minimum terms and conditions for qualifying indemnity insurers, which can include terrorism exclusions so long as these do not extend to exclude or limit the insurer’s liability..
The chief medical officer’s advisory group is considering both no-fault compensation, and a fast-track scheme for low value clinical negligence claims. Increased use of structured settlements, greater use of mediation, and the possibility of unifying..
A research study by the Law Society and Civil Justice Council on the impact of the Woolf reforms on pre-action behaviour give mixed findings. While the pre-action protocol framework and timetable was intended to encourage..
Lawyers worldwide are developing different approaches to the management of legal transactions through the Web.
In the UK several leading practices have launched their own branded services and in the US many clients prefer to develop..
The Coal Health Claims Unit of the Department of Trade & Industry is now running an online service for solicitors handling respiratory and vibration white finger claims.
This allows full management from registration of initial claim..
The ADR Group and TheClaimRoom.com have launched the first multi-lingual online alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service. It will, initially, serve the legal profession, healthcare, human resources and accountancy market.
We have received a letter from a sole practitioner Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) alerting the sector to the use being made of the 1998 decision in Rothschild Assur v Collyear
and possible counter-measures. This case..
Royal & Sun Alliance, awaiting notification of the size of fine for pension mis-selling to be imposed by the FSA, is planning to write to 50,000 policyholders who retired between 1999 and December 200 and..
Aberdeen Asset Management, a leading manager of split capital investment trusts, is the first in this area to offer compensation to around 7,000 investors who allege loss from market abuse and mis-selling. Full detail not..
The Bank of England could face claims from depositors in the defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI). The challenge has been launched by liquidator Deloitte & Touche following a favourable ruling in the House..
Merrill Lynch has agreed with New York state regulators to pay a US$100mn fine and change certain working practices. This follows allegations that Internet analysts issued misleading research encouraging investors into financial error.
The money will..
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an investigation into the £4bn-a-year estate agency business in England & Wales. This will examine a number of issues including the ‘increasing concern from consumers about the..
The annual Datamonitor study of motor premiums says that large increases in UK rates are unlikely this year, and underwriting likely to return to profitability. Over the last three years the cost of comprehensive cover..
The European Commission has proposed increases in minimum personal injury cover to rise from €350,000 to €1mn (£680,000). The minimum cover for property damage to rise from €100,000 to €500,000 and both to be subject..
For the first time since 1989 road deaths have increased. Statistics from the Transport Department show a 34% increase of 34% over the previous year to 3,443 deaths in 2001. Within this total, child deaths..
Following the thrust of the interim report of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), focusing on the likelihood of poor track maintenance as causing the 10 May derailment with seven dead and 76 injured, pressure..
The Crown Prosecution Service, itself threatened with legal action for deciding not to press manslaughter charges against Railtrack in relation to the badly-siting of the red light implicated in the Paddington rail crash, has asked..
A train carrying an empty nuclear flask to Dungeness A nuclear power station to collect radioactive spent uranium fuel rods for reprocessing at Sellafield hit a lorry at a lights-only-controlled level crossing. Travelling at only..
The first report of the Office of Civil Nuclear Security, from director Michael Buckland, admitted that during 2001 ‘compliance inspection’ had failed to take place at 22 of the 31 nuclear installations and reprocessing facilities..
As more detail of the Libyan offer of US$2.7bn compensation to the families of Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie) victims become clear, there are divergent views on acceptance.
Tied firmly to Libya’s reinstatement to normal relationships,..
A Seattle state court jury has decided that Boeing is not liable for illnesses suffered by 26 flight attendants of Alaska Airlines. Also naming Honeywell, manufacturer of auxiliary power units providing cabin electricity when on..
Although not making any full statement until after the October hearing on the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 which plunged into a residential area of New York last November with 265 deaths, the National..
The recent bridge collapse at Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, resulting in 14 deaths is expected to trigger the US$100mn multilayered re/insurance programme covering the tow boat operator, Magnolia Marine Transportation. Claims for deaths and injuries will..
Exxon Mobil has filed in the Anchorage federal district court for reduction of the US$5bn punitive damages awarded to the Alaskan fishing industry for the oil spill of 1989. This follows last year’s declaration of..
French prosecutors are preparing action alleging involuntary manslaughter against nine officials of TotalFinaElf ’s AZF plant in Toulouse. Last year’s explosion killed 30, injured 2,500 and left many more thousands homeless.
This the finding of a study published in the British Medical Journal of 8 June 2002. Sponsored by the UK Childhood Cancer Study and covering 6,000 children, they found no evidence that natural radon in..
A study conducted by the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention and the New York City health department claims that recovery workers at the WTC site were not exposed to dangerous levels of a number..
Policyholders seeking to recoup their costs in avoiding the effects of the Y2K bug (remember that, when the electronic world was expected to grind to a halt on Millenium night?) have been set back by..
Suits seeking a change in procedures so that this type of discrimination will not reoccur, damages and punitive damages have been launched against Northwest, American, Continental and United Airlines.
These arise from the ejection of passengers,..
The US Supreme Court has reversed the federal appeals court decision in Chevron USA Inc v Mario Echazabal
. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require that an employer place a worker in a..
The US Government has passed the first financial reform triggered by the Enron collapse. Accountants were formerly self-policing, but now face a new body to give oversight to corporate accountants along with a system to..
In the first US government salvo of the Enron affair, the jury eventually found Andersen guilty of obstruction of justice, mainly through the alteration of a document rather than shredding. Andersen has already cried ‘Mistrial!’,..
review of asbestos litigation, 25 May 2002, reports that G-1 Holdings, formerly GAF Corp, is suing three law firms for orchestrating ‘a scheme to inundate the courts with hundreds of thousands of asbestos..
The Wall Street Journal
of 29 May reports investors’ concerns that reorganisations into two separate companies may provide asbestos claimants with additional targets. Following several already-completed company splits, Halliburton and Goodrich are planning similar moves.
Although now planning to remove all asbestos-containing insulation from hundreds of homes in Libby, Montana, where (chapter 11 bankrupt) W R Grace discarded materials from the vermiculite mine into garden soils and school yards, the..
The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas dismissed 376 asbestos-related cases against packaging company Crown Cork & Seal. This due to the 2001 change in state law on successor liability, capping the merger-derived asbestos liabilities of..
Halliburton have reached agreement with Harbison-Walker Refractories and the Official Committee of Asbestos Creditors for extension of the stay, freezing more than 200,000 asbestos claims against its Dresser Industries unit, until mid-July. They expect further..
In one of the largest asbestos settlements agreed by an insurer, St Paul Cos has reached agreement to settle all litigation on coverage for buildings products firm Western MacArthur, insured by St Paul unit USF&G..
The first application of the 28 February ruling of the final court of appeal, the Court of Cassation, that an employer was guilty of ‘inexcusable misconduct’ through failure to ensure adequate protection of workers, has..
A ban on use of sheep intestine
as casing for high quality sausages is called for by scientific advisers to the Food Standards Agency. This as a precaution in case BSE is eventually positively identified..
The Austrian Supreme Court has held that, to escape liability, the supplier of a defective product must identify the producer (or person who supplied the product to him) quickly and voluntarily. Late notification would only..
The US Federal appeals court has refused to reconsider its decision to strike down class action status for suits from owners of Ford Explorers and Firestone tyres. This in response to Ford’s argument that a..
Following the decision of Arkansas federal court judge George Howard to sanction Cooper Tire & Rubber for shredding documents, the company has reached settlement, terms undisclosed, of a fatal accident suit resulting from a defective..
Responding to a class action suit on behalf of vegetarians, Hindus and others, launched by Seattle lawyer Harish Bharti, McDonald’s has agreed a settlement of US$10mn to be paid to Hindu and vegetarian groups. Following..
Tests carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory show a wide variation in the protection given to infants by child car seats. The study suggests that of the 600 children killed or seriously injured in..
Speaking at an environmental meeting in Germany, the Prince of Wales made a controversial call for companies funding trials of genetically modified (GM) crops to be made ‘liable’ for any damage caused. He said the..
This the question posed in an article in the Wall Street Journal
of 13 June 2002, detailing the US food industry’s defensive moves against accusations of contributing to widespread problems of obesity. Some companies have..
A breakthrough for claimants is the acceptance by the Pensions Appeal Tribunal (PAT), sitting in Leeds, that ‘Gulf War syndrome’ is attributable to military service. This acceptance came in a ruling in favour of a..
Concerned parents seem unconvinced by the MMR review carried out by Bazian Ltd and published in the British Medical Association’s ‘Clinical Evidence’ of 12 June 2002.
Drs Anna Donald and Vivek Muthu carried out a detailed..
Having persuaded 45 of the original 132 opt-outs from the proposed US$1bn settlement to join, leaving only 87 US claimants outstanding (of whom only 16 had revision surgery, thus placing them in the highest claimant..
In a claim against the county sheriff ’s department filed on behalf of the children, arising from the shooting of their mother by her ex-husband in the Central Civil Courthouse where both were attending a..
Exclusion of pensioners residing abroad from retirement pension uprating was not in breach of their Human Rights; any such decision was one for Parliament, not the judiciary.
Regina (Carson) v Secretary of State for Work and..
A natural or legal person was “individually concerned’ by a European Community measure that affected his legal position in a significant way, and thus had locus standi
to challenge the measure under article 230(4)EC. It..
A finding of violation of article 6.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, guaranteeing a fair hearing, was in itself sufficient satisfaction for non-pecuniary damage, by virtue of article 41. Costs were awarded.
In dismissing a claim, alleging breach of a private law duty of care by the Law Society arising from the conduct of an investigation by an accountant appointed to examine the solicitor’s books, Mr Geoffrey..
Where privileged documents were mistakenly disclosed, in circumstances where a reasonable solicitor would not have been aware of an obvious mistake, those documents lost the protection of privilege.
Al Fayed and Others v Commissioner of Police..
Where a funder without any interest in the claim had provided support of litigation by an impecunious claimant, that funder would not normally be liable to pick up costs where the claimant lost his case.
The duty of care required from a solicitor acting on behalf of both parties in a property transaction did not include a duty to communicate relevant information concerning the other party which had been obtained..
In the case at issue it was argued that a heater without thermostat, which caused cardboard boxes placed nearby to ignite, was not of merchantable quality. The claim was rejected, as was the appeal, in..
The requirement for a product to comply with a British Standard does not impose any warranty or undertaking of quality which would entitle a purchaser to claim damages.
Britvic Soft Drinks Ltd and Others v Messer..
The occupier of a farm was not liable for failing to prevent highway obstruction from soil and debris washed from the land in an unforeseeably severe storm. No storm of such severity had occurred for..
The existence of multiple contracts of insurance covering the same interest did not preclude recovery under an accident and illness policy for the injury or death of a person on board a vessel. In considering..
Despite successfully completing an operation, a surgeon could be held liable in negligence for failing to warn a patient of slight post-operative risk (in this case partial paralysis). The patient did, in the event, suffer..
Where a mental patient was to be given treatment, without his consent, the doctor giving a second opinion (as required under the Mental Health Act 1983) must put his reason in writing.
Regina (Wooder) v Feggetter..
The claimant suffered injury when she tripped on a 2 inch kerb while walking across an unfenced prepared soil position in front of the Defendant’s department store’s busy entrance.
Held that, although the defendant carried some..
An employee could not claim constructive dismissal, under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE), solely on a substantial and detrimental change in working conditions unless he could show this was a fundamental..
A tribunal has jurisdiction to consider a complaint of unfair dismissal, alleged to arise from the making of a ‘protected disclosure’ before (in this case six years before) the legislation on which he relied came..
A worker absent long-term on account of sickness is entitled to holiday pay, under the Working Time Regulations 1998, in respect of the period of employment despite his absence. However, he must give normal notice..
In the transfer of an undertaking, the new owner must honour a commitment by the transferor relating to retirement and redundancy conditions.
Beckmann v Dynamco Whicheloe Macfarlane Ltd: Case C-164/00 • European Court of Justice •..
Two recent cases dealt with the extent to which full disclosures may be required, in somewhat different ways.
the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that a tribunal was in error in ordering employers to..
An anonymous woman is reported to be seeking damages from an NHS health authority for the emotional and psychological trauma she suffered, bringing her to the verge of nervous breakdown, four years after the termination..
A group of 63 women, all of whom used the Persona contraceptive device in the late 1990s but became pregnant, have taken action under the Consumer Protection Act to seek £150,000 each in damages from..
Surprise! I seem to have been reading official reports to this end, and the same criticisms and suggestions for action, for years.
Now the Public Accounts Committee warns that increased funding to the National Health Service..
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