Six leading European insurers and reinsurers are forming a new venture, Special Risk & Reinsurance (Luxembourg), to provide cover against terrorism.
Supported by Zurich Financial Services, Allianz, Hannover Re, Swiss Re, XL Capital, and SCOR, it..
Lloyd’s insurer Cox Holdings is to buck the trend of many companies expanding capacity to take advantage of the post-11 September premium surge, and close its commercial insurance operations.
Liabilities, which include an estimated £125mn World..
Lloyd’s market has reported a loss of £3.1bn for 2001 mainly through exposure of £1.98bn for World Trade Center claims. But Moody’s believes the eventual loss will be worse, with World Trade Center claims up..
In the first big settlement since last year’s ruling in the House of Lords implementing a decision of the European Court of Justice, HSBC is equalising payments to part-time workers to make their benefits equivalent..
Andersen is to face charges of obstruction of justice on 6 May following the surprise breakdown of settlement talks with the US Justice Department. Although Andersen was prepared to admit wrongdoing in exchange for probation,..
The Swiss Air Commander 112TC aircraft that struck the Pirelli tower in Milan after the pilot had reported mechanical problems, caused five deaths (the pilot, two workers and two passersby on the street) and many..
Both of these feature in the initial comment on the crash of an Air China Boeing 767, flight CA 129, into a mountainside on approach to Kimhae airport in South Korea.
Although 122 passengers and crew..
Wavelength, a new Lloyd’s-backed facility, is challenging established Through Transport Club (TT Club) on best value liability cover for port authorities and terminals. But both are steering away from br ing ing pricing into the..
Final rules for federal compensation fund
have been announced by chief administrator Kenneth Feinberg. The average payment will now be US$1.85mn, about US$200,000 more than originally envisaged. The rules include provisions for the deduction of..
An action seeking unspecified reparation from companies that profited from slave labour has been filed in US District Court, New York. Named defendants are Aetna, CSX and FleetBoston Financial with the right reserved to add..
In a business misconduct case settled by TAP Pharmaceuticals for US$875mn, a qui tam
suit on behalf of Douglas Durand, who originally drew attention to the misconduct, has led to agreement for him to receive..
Despite press and radio apologia from the insurance industry, Lloyd’s List
has stated the fact ‘Insurers fail to stop asbestosis appeal to Lords’ in a headline.
As a result of last-minute settlement offers, and incorrect information..
The Japanese health ministry and two companies – German supplier B Braun Melsungen and the Japanese importer – have reached formal settlement with plaintiffs who sued in the Tokyo and Otsu district courts for their..
After the end of employment of a financial consultant, his former employer sought repayment of £7,500 advance commission. He disputed the sum and counterclaimed damages for negligent misstatement (false assertion that he owed money) in..
Sick golf player unfairly dismissed
and awarded £18,815. He was sacked when spotted playing golf while on sick leave for tonsillitis and vertigo, despite having no previous record of absenteeism and his explanation that he..
US law firm Pendley Law Firm in Louisiana, having filed class action suit against GlaxoSmithKline alleging side-effects of antidepressant drug Paxil (Seroxat in the UK), is seeking links with law firms in Europe and Australia..
Recording 462 complaints against barristers in 2001, Michael Scott, the Bar complaints commissioner, reports several compensation awards of up to £5,000 for losses from shoddy work by barristers.
But his report looks towards a sharp increase..
A useful article appeared in the Law Society Gazette
of 28 February 2002 focusing on the development and increased significance of group action claims with particular reference to that of South African miners against Cape.
In one of the first successful uses of conditional fee agreements (CFAs) for defendants, London law firm David Price Solicitors & Advocates settled a claim and costs out of court. The case hinged on criticism..
As the Civil Justice Council continues its deliberations, through the recoverable costs working group set up in December and due to report by year-end, solicitors from both sides of the court are exploring fixed costs..
From 1 September of this year the China National Tourism Administration will require all travel agencies operating in China to purchase travel agency liability insurance. This will provide tourists, both nationals and foreigners, with protection..
The requirements of product liability law in South Korea, in July of this year, is expected to boost the nonlife insurance market from W100bn (US$75mn) to several billion won a year.
Currently the product liability insurance..
A new product from Greystoke Legal Services, Conditional Fee Assist, comes with a premium recovery guarantee (of up to £500 per policy) along with indemnity should the defendant become insolvent.
Along with this, Greystoke is changing..
Despite a 42% rise in written premiums in 2001, speciality lines insurance group SVB produced an after-tax loss of £88.3mn. SVB’s syndicate 1212, suffering from World Trade Center and other property losses, also performed badly..
An article in the New York Times
of 8 March 2002 suggests insurers should provide corporations with policies to protect investors against losses from misrepresentations in financial statements.
Accountancy professor Ronen claims this would be easier..
Hanson Green’s guide to boardroom insurance says there is widespread misunderstanding of directors’ and officers’ (D&O) insurance among nonexecutive directors. For example, they do not realise many company policies do not cover nonexecutives. Hanson Green..
A group of Spanish insurance brokers has instructed London-based lawyer Inka Piegsa-Quischotte to seek compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Claiming around £2.3mn for almost 400 clients with unpaid claims, they seek inclusion in..
About 7,000 people are reported as still waiting for settlement of pension missales, according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Many of these have claims against firms no longer in existence.
To date, about 421,000 people..
Standard Life is to compensate 6,000 mortgage customers so as to preempt an order by the financial ombudsman. At around £200 each, the matter arises from failure to offer existing customers new lower interest products.
The new management of Equitable Life has filed suit in the High Court against Ernst & Young, seeking £2.6bn for negligence in past audits.
They are not, ‘at this stage’, taking action against former legal advisers..
The Attorney General’s support for a new inquest on Ronald Maddison, who died when nerve agent sarin was dropped on his skin in tests in 1953, makes High Court approval likely.
An inquest held in secret..
The Ministry of Defence is to announce wider compensation for soldiers ‘injured as a result of terrorism or warlike activities’.
Previously, compensation in the form of a war pension of up to £10,000 a year required..
A code of conduct drawn up by the Information Commission and due to become operative later this year sets limits on employer surveillance of workers’ use of emails and phones. Staff should have access to..
Under a European directive due to come in force in 2005 employers accused of tolerating sexual harassment will have to prove they have created a ‘harassment-free’ workplace. The European Court of Justice will be the..
A three-month study conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory on behalf of Direct Line has quantified the effects of mobile phone use on driving standards.
The participants used driving simulators under a number of conditions, including..
The Department of Transport has called on the British Aerospace Authority, responsible for security at London Heathrow airport, to report on lapses of security. These have included two major robberies in just over a month,..
British Airways is asking 1,000 ‘frequent flyers’ to take part in a deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) research project run by Birmingham University’s medical school under Dr John Townsend. It will examine passenger awareness of risk and..
In rejecting JMC’s appeal against Macclesfield County Court’s £500 award to Brian Horan (see LRI
140) for fear of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) when he was denied legroom ‘to a reasonable standard’ on a flight from..
Voluntary tests by American Airlines of an Airbus A300-600 have found no problem with the side-to-side tail movement as experience in their flight 857 that crashed in New York last year when a tail section..
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) inquiry has concluded that the 217-death crash of EgyptAir flight 990 Boeing 767 off Nantucket in 1999 was deliberately caused by the copilot, Gamil al-Batouti.
There were no speculations as..
The European Commission (EC) has called for EU legislation requiring passenger ferry companies to take out compulsory insurance for no-fault liability claims from passengers.
This is for €250,000 per passenger, although the EC statement calls for..
The Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has launched a public consultation on the European Commission’s (EC) proposals for an EU Directive on Environmental Liability.
The main proposals aim to establish a liability regime..
Up to half of male fish in contaminated rivers are unable to produce sperm, according to the Environment Agency. This is in particular from the ‘female hormone’ effects of chemicals leaching into the water from..
A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) confirms low-level pollution by uranium in Serbia and Montenegro. This is broadly consistent with earlier UNEP and Royal Society research. Continued monitoring is recommended, particularly..
At a conference of North Sea environment ministers, Dr Ole Arve Misund, director of the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, highlighted the effects of polluted water on fish supplies.
Citing research sponsored by the Norwegian..
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accepted Monsanto’s settlement offer for PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) contamination of a site at Anniston, Alabama.
The deal, which was struck following an Alabama jury finding of liability, has been under..
Insurance groups are pressing the US National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to establish a mechanism whereby NAIC could file an amicus, or ‘friend of the court’, brief in class actions involving insurance.
Insurers claim the..
The European Parliament is seeking significantly lower workplace asbestos-exposure limits than recently proposed by the European Commission.
The parliament believes exposure at 0.1 fibres per cubic centimetre for an eight-hour period in high-risk sectors is too..
Rejections of employers’ appeals against ‘inexcusable conduct’ in exposing workers to asbestos in rulings by the Cour de Cassation in Paris have significantly impacted on the French system of calculating asbestos damages.
Under article 40 of..
Insurers’ asbestos liabilities and reserves have become a factor in credit rating, according to rating agency Moody’s Investors Service. Noting that several insurers took charges during 2001 to strengthen asbestos loss reserves, it said many..
Although the ABI-overseen scheme to compensate asbestos victims left high and dry by the collapse of Chester Street has passed the £1mn mark in payouts to 159 claimants or their relatives, there are still critics..
A ruling of the Californian state court may force insurers to speed asbestos payments.
Previous estimates by analysts envisaged the eventual total of US$50bn being paid over 40 or more years, but the ruling in a..
The Supreme Court is to review a West Virginia jury award of US$5.8mn among six workers who claimed emotional distress over their exposure to the cancer-causing material.
The appeal in Norfolk & Western v Ayers et..
A Kanawha County jury in West Virginia has ordered DuPont to pay US$6.4mn to the family of a man who died as a result of childhood exposure to asbestos fibres on his father’s workclothes.
A San Francisco jury has awarded former navy electrician Alfred Todak US$33.7mn for mesothelioma contracted while working on ship boilers at Lockheed Shipbuilding & Construction Co in the 1960s and 70s.
In Todak v Asbestos Defendants
British American Tobacco’s (BAT) defence has been struck down in Australian court
because of destruction of documents. In the Supreme Court of Victoria Mr Justice Geoffrey Eames said: ‘The process of discovery in this case..
An article in Business Week
of 18 March 2002 follows up recommendation of the National Academy of Science that US legislators remove software companies’ protection from product liability suits.
The article argues that the best way..
The US District Court in Indianapolis has rejected moves by both Ford and Firestone for dismissal of more than 100 rollover suits arising from accidents in Venezuela and Colombia. Judge Barker ruled that US courts..
Having reached settlements with many tyre-failure, rollover claimants, Firestone faces its second jury hearing. The case seeks US$70mn in respect of critical injury to a college student and lesser injury to two others in a..
The chairman of the Food Standards Agency has called for better labelling of food containing mechanically recovered meat. This is through a voluntary code in advance of next year’s European Commission rules.
Mechanically recovered meat is..
The Food Standards Agency has withdrawn advice, issued by the Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF) in 1997, on the advisability of washing and peeling fruit and vegetables to remove pesticide residues.
The Food Standards Agency said new..
Northwestern University, Illinois has filed suit against Cytodyne Technologies and other manufacturers of dietary supplements in respect of the death of football player Rashidi Wheeler.
It claims the supplements were the most likely cause of irregular..
Nearly 50 brands of insect killers have been withdrawn from UK shops following advice by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides that it was not possible to rule out cancer risks from the chemical dichlorvos (DDVP).
Differing in many ways from the classic 1994 (US) case of Liebeck v McDonald’s
, the first class action of its kind in the UK has set common-sense levels of responsibility in dealing with hot drinks.
The judgment of Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, president of the High Court Family Division, has reaffirmed the right of mentally competent patients to refuse treatment.
It also allows the claimant, ‘Miss B’, the right to insist her..
Large-scale multinational research has linked the contraceptive pill to increased risk of cervical cancer in women. Carried out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, it appears in The Lancet
of 30 March 2002...
An article in the National Law Journal
of 18 March 2002 reports a growing area of litigation in the US alleging that mercury (thimerosal) used as a preservative in vaccines is linked to the development..
Continuing litigation over faulty hip and knee joints has forced Sulzer Medica into a US$724mn loss for 2001. Arguments still run on the exact details of the current US$725mn settlement offer, which, with preliminary approval..
A survey by the British Epilepsy Association suggests more than 60% of women are taking older epilepsy drugs and that less than half of these recalled are warned of an increased risk of birth defects..
The Australian government has given doctors’ mutual Australasian Medical Insurance (AMIL) a financial guarantee of A$35mn to allow it to meet regulator requirements on capital reserves. But AMIL, which covers 60% of doctors in Australia,..
The National Audit Office reports that ‘likely liabilities’ clinical negligence claims against National Health Service (NHS) entities stood at £4.4bn at the end of March 2001, an increase of £500mn over the previous year.
Although a shipowner commenced ‘hot work’ in a shipyard two weeks before the date of salvage association certificates, the insurer was not entitled to avoid the contract where the fraud was material to the underwriters’..
In awarding additional damages under section 97(2) of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, it was not appropriate to include a purely punitive or exemplary element. But the section was drafted in wide terms..
The costs of expert services provided by a party’s own employees are, if reasonable, recoverable.
Admiral Management Services Ltd v Para-Protect Europe Ltd • Chancery Division •
Law Society Gazette • 18 April 2002
The secretary of state for the environment was not under any duty to pay farmers for the use of their land to burn the carcasses of their own animals slaughtered when infected with foot-and-mouth disease...
A senior divisional administrative officer suffered stress and anxiety (work and home related) and reported this to his GP in 1994. On his return to work a few months later he specifically required that any..
In awarding (fairly minimal) damages of £3,500 to a ‘supermodel’ who complained of newspaper publication of a photograph of her attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, the court has done little to clarify the privacy rights..
An employee who fell down stairs in the dark was held to 60% contributory negligence. This was upheld on appeal.
The radio operator and occasional courier returned to the office with the sole intention of chatting..
Differential of pension benefits available to male or female nurses when retiring at age 55 (benefiting female nurses) was not discriminatory. This was in relation to the temporal limitation embodied in protocol 2 concerning article..
Labour-only subcontractors in the building industry are ‘workers’ under the protection of the Working Time Regulations 1998. Such individuals had undertaken to personally perform services, even though the contract allowed that the services could be..
An obligation prohibiting financial advisers from holding a material interest in a potentially competing company applied to the formation of such a company, even though it remained dormant until such time as the financial advisers..
Caroline Mackenzie, an associate in the Private Client Department at Taylor Joynson Garrett, has provided this note on an innovative approach to damages for a young person with full mental capacity.
A recent case (heard in..
Berlin-based law firm Reiner Geulen is preparing a claim on behalf of more than 700 soldiers or their families alleging they developed various forms of cancer from working with radar systems for 20 years until..
The ruling by Mr Justice Evans-Lombe that Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, former auditor of Barings in Singapore, has a case to answer confirms the commencement in May of a major High Court hearing to determine a..
Around 2,500 rural businesses that were affected by the foot-and-mouth epidemic, but not eligible for compensation, plan to sue the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, seeking £1bn in compensation for their losses.
Teachers at the conference of the Association of Teachers & Lecturers have been urged to bring private prosecutions against violent children and their parents. This is because of the weak response of the Crown Prosecution..
In a developing trend, civil proceedings have been launched against Leeds United footballer Lee Bowyer, found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm in the criminal court.
The action is brought by brothers Sarfraz and Shahzad..
Dancer Kerston Parkin, brain damaged, paralysed and needing constant care as a result of medical blunders when she was giving birth to a baby in 1996, is claiming £13mn damages. Farnbrough Hospital has admitted liability..
Duwayne Brooks, a survivor of the lethal racist attack on Stephen Lawrence in London, has been given permission by the Court of Appeal to bring action against the Metropolitan Police for its treatment of him,..
The Riot Act is not obscure, according to David Pye, active underwriter at D J Pye syndicate 692, commenting on the £97mn claim against Bedfordshire Police Authority in relation to damage to the Yarl’s Wood..
In an interview in the Basildon Yellow Advertiser
of 20 March 2002 following his £200,000 win against Anglia Water, Roy Hart characterised the usefulness of the Environment Agency – which was still considering whether to..
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