Zurich was the leading UK third-party liability insurer in 2001 in terms of gross written premiums, according to LRI
’s survey of the statutory returns submitted to the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
The survey, which is based..
The Lloyd’s non-life operations of Minnisota-based St Paul Cos Inc, will be combined into a single syndicate 5000, underwriting from 2003 with a capacity of £435mn. It will mainly underwrite marine, aviation and property business...
Lloyd’s managing agency SVB Syndicates has decided to withdraw from writing US liability reinsurance in 2003, believing this can be ‘replaced with other, more attractive, business’. SVB’s three nonmarine syndicates will have a combined capacity..
A report from Standard & Poor’s, noting that UK motor insurers have racked up losses of £5bn since 1994, categorises the market situation as ‘difficult’. While a brief return to profitability at the end of..
The liquidator of failed HIH Insurance is suing the Commonwealth government for A$5.6bn (US$3.1bn) in the Supreme Court of Canberra. The claim is based on negligent failure of the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority and its..
A New York appeals court has granted the appeal of World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein against the decision of District Court Judge Martin who, in declining to give summary judgment, said it must be..
The 6-months to 30 September results for run-off vehicle, Equitas, show a continued increase in asbestos-related claims from the US. Average payouts also rose although the total paid out was £451mn, less than the £798mn..
The Court of Appeal has ordered that the 216 private investors, still pursuing legal action against Lloyd’s, make an interim payment into court for potential future legal costs of £650,000. Although they have already paid..
‘More than 210,000 small and medium-sized businesses are operating illegally without employers’ liability insurance, leaving nearly 1.8mn employees without cover, according to Axa Insurance.’ Thus the Financial Times
of 5 December reported the background, which..
The government of Hong Kong are to set up a fund to compensate injured workers, left without redress by the collapse of an insurer. This follows the fall of the Employees Compensation Assistance Scheme in..
A survey conducted by law firm Nabarro Nathanson and the ADR (alternative dispute resolution) Group shows that unitary authorities in England and Wales handled around 200 legal disputes each year, but 60% scarcely ever refer..
Giving a preliminary ruling on The Accident Group (TAG) test cases, arising from the English v Clipson
district judge decision that a TAG appointee was not a legal representative as required, Chief Master Peter Hurst..
Insurers in Germany are withdrawing from insuring radiation risks following new government regulations of August 2001 covering protection of participants in medical research projects.
Under the old regulations companies carrying out such research were obliged to..
The US Insurance Research Council’s (IRC) report shows that while auto accidents have fallen by 16% since 1980, injury claims have increased by 26%. Property damage has fallen slightly from 4.94 claims per 100 cars..
The Indian finance and transport ministries, addressing the problem of high third party motor claims and underwriting losses, and considering amending the Motor Vehicles Act to limit third party liability.
Insurers have also initiated discussions on..
The introduction of a recently enacted third party insurance reform package is to be delayed for a year. Plans for a single national tariff met with opposition from insurers and consumers who believed it would..
In 2001 Helphire, the vehicle hire and accident management company, was facing a log-jam of court actions seeking payment from insurers. It settled for £60mn rather than wait indefinitely in hopes of the £103mn it..
As part of the ongoing consultation on the use of mobile phones while driving, the ABI has supported a ban on hand-held models, favouring the addition of penalty points to driving licences rather than a..
A Circuit County Court judge in Killarney found that Jimmy O’Callaghan, the owner of a school bus, was liable for injury to a child incurred during horseplay on the bus. Although the provision of seat..
A ruling by the European Court of Justice held that member states were free to determine the extent of passenger insurance nationally as long as there was no discrimination against victims related to the driver..
A survey of leading companies, by KPMG, found that more than half of non-executive directors have never had a formal appraisal of their work, despite two-thirds believing they would benefit from such exercise.
A similar amount..
The ISTC steelworkers union is considering bringing a test case against the Government for failing to implement the 20-year-old Solvency Directive, giving protection to workers’ pensions where a company goes bankrupt.
The case, on behalf of..
In different fora Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), have revealed that they and others have ‘resigned from and turned down’ audit work for companies which they consider have insufficient accountancy and management controls. ‘As..
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has imposed a record fine of £1mn, for the mis-selling of endowment mortgages, on Abbey Life (a part of Lloyds TSB) which closed for new business in February 2002. Lloyds..
Three former Gurkha soldiers have won right to be treated the same as their British colleagues with go-ahead for a claim of £10,000 each from the government compensation fund. This for ill-treatment suffered under the..
Consultation is currently running on amendments to the Working Times Regulations, to cover sectors currently excluded such as areas of transport, offshore work and junior doctors.
Draft regulations, effective from August 2003, will apply to transport..
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) will fund the sex discrimination appeal of former City analyst Louise Barton. Her original claim of pay and bonuses at least £1mn below that of a less experienced male colleague..
The Court of Appeal has reinstated a claim for damages, dismissed at first instance at Cardiff County Court, in respect of a nurse’s use of powdered latex gloves. The claim was based both on negligence..
The planned scrapping or amending of up to 100 pieces of legislation, to allow greater public access to information in many spheres, will include the findings of accident investigators. At present, under the Health &..
Anglo-Dutch steel-maker Corus has admitted liability (though not responsibility) for an explosion at its Port Talbot furnace in South Wales. Three died and 12 were injured in the event in 2001. Although the results of..
European transport ministers have agreed higher rates of compensation to passengers for delay or cancellation of flights. Short haul carriers will be required to pay €250 and longer-haul (over 2,175 miles) €600. Not expected to..
The latest incident, one of a number over recent weeks affecting both BA and Air France Concorde flights, must call into question just how long this once-state-of-the-art plane is commercially viable.
A flight from Heathrow to..
The US Federal Aviation Administration has admitted it is still uncertain of the cause of fuel pump problems in some Boeing jets, and has issued fresh safety warnings. At present some 1,400 planes have been..
The New South Wales government has confirmed amendments to the Marine Pollution Act raising fines for individuals to A$500,000 and for corporations to A$10mn. The strict liability already applicable to owners of a vessel and..
As the beaches of Galicia are coated with oil, still leaking from the Prestige
at mid-December and leading to a 500km coastal fishing ban, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) addresses the raising..
Following formal approval of the creation of an EU Solidarity Fund to help member states deal quickly with natural and man-made disasters, initial funding of €728mn has been allocated from the existing budget. This will..
After an appeal court ruling that the punitive award of US$5bn against Exxon Valdez in respect of the 1989 oil spill was excessive, an Alaska District Court has reduced it to US$4bn.
Exxon, however, is to..
A postscript to the significant case of 1993, Cambridge Water Company v Eastern Counties Leather
. A year later Eastern Counties Leather Group [the Group] sold land to Eastern Counties Leather Plc [Plc], both parties being..
Latest stats from the Environmental Protection Agency report that nearly all apartments in downtown New York tested over the last few months showed no asbestos contamination from the WTC collapse. However, of 6,000 apartments awaiting..
Bankrupt telecommunications company WorldCom has settled fraud claims with US regulators for US$9bn, subject to bankruptcy court approval. The settlement, without admission or denial of wrongdoing, also includes that WorldCom ‘provide reasonable training and education..
US investors have filed a class action in New York against several senior directors of Vodaphone, alleging that the company issued ‘a series of material misrepresentations to the market’ failing to disclose ‘adverse facts’. This..
Georgia Hayes, one of 34 drug-dilution victims of Kansas City pharmacist Robert Courtney, has filed to recover a US$2.2bn jury award from Pharmacists Mutual Insurance. The insurer itself is seeking a judicial ruling that Courtney’s..
Two pieces of legislation relating to medical liability and tort claims in general, to take effect from 1 January 2003, will limit forum shopping, cap punitive damages and limit joint and several liability for non-economic..
The Arizona Supreme Court has issued a change in civil procedure so that litigants, settling a product liability or fraud suit, will no longer have the last word on non-disclosure of terms. It will now..
Punitive damage awards for wrongs committed in one state must apply to those particular wrongs only rather than nationwide conduct.
The decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (San Francisco) in Ginny V White v..
A report from the American Insurance Association suggests that asbestos claims are putting companies into bankruptcy and employees out of work. It estimates the loss of 60,000 jobs, though recognising that after a period most..
Texas plaintiff attorney Aaryn K Giblin and her firm are considering appealing a court sanction of US$500,000 imposed for forum shopping for most favourable court in which to bring an asbestos liability suit. The sanction..
It is reported that both Halliburton and Honeywell are near to reaching settlements with plaintiffs for the majority of claims. Halliburton has offered US$4bn made up of US$2.8bn cash plus 60mn shares of the company’s..
Agreements with claimants have been reached by Fresenius Medical Care AG and by Sealed Air Corporation. In both cases these arose from the purchase of non-asbestos segments of WR Grace and led to allegations of..
The US Supreme Court has decided not to review a Virginia court ruling allowing consolidation of 1,300 asbestos suits, a similar decision to that on 2,000 suits made in October. The court rejected an appeal..
The US Supreme Court, which ruled five years ago that railroad workers could not win damages for emotional distress from exposure to asbestos if they were not actually sick, is now hearing oral arguments in..
This note was misplaced in last month’s LRI, appearing as a strange footnote to an item on German insurers. Try again!
Do you need to know more about asbestos? For day-by-day developments, financial analysis and comment..
Draft governmental response
to two reports on the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak addresses the Lessons Learned
report from Dr Iain Anderson’s inquiry, and the report from Sir Brian Follett of the Royal Society. Recommendations to deal..
Research by the Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, links disruptive behaviour in 25% of toddlers to a range of colouring additives in foods. These additives, including Tartrazine (E102), Sunset..
Following the report on banned pesticide residues in foods, carried out by the Pesticides Residue Committee (PRC) and reported in LRI
September, another report from the PRC reviews 21 items including oranges, lamb and cheese...
Researchers at the National Research Council in Italy have found that radio waves of the type emitted from mobile phones initially killed cancer cells, but after 48 hours cause them to proliferate. While not suggesting..
As part of a package of reforms, the Australian government has announced guarantee of the solvency of Australia’s largest medical indemnity insurer, United Medical Protection (UMP). The government will also subsidise 50% of payments over..
An independent report from Professor John Posnett of the York Health Economics Consortium says that a pilot scheme for handling smaller medical negligence claims has been a success. The Resolve project was set up to..
An error in the setting up of the Trust fund for victims of thalidomide, making payment subject to tax, was discovered in 1974. Until 1997 the Treasury has made concessionary repayments of this tax to..
Glaxosmithkline (GSK), the world’s second largest drug company, has made a provision of £145mn to cover legal costs for patient, and patent, suits. GSK is currently facing class action suits in relation to both the..
Research by Professor Simon Wessely of King’s College, London into one aspect of Gulf War Syndrome, published in Neurology
(26 November 2002) reports no link found between harm to the (peripheral) nervous system and toxic..
Less dramatic than the brain injuries suffered in the past from heading heavy leather balls (see LRI
December 2002) but more costly, foot injuries from wearing unsuitable shoes.
A study published late in November in the..
The Medical Research Council (MRC) has abandoned a large-scale clinical study of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), after reviewing evidence from a US study, also abandoned, because the risks from HRT were seen as outweighing the..
A US Federal Appeals Court in New Orleans has overturned a lower court ruling against Dow Chemical on failure to warn and conspiracy to conceal the dangers connected with silicone breast implants. This claim was..
Research led by Marlis Frankenberg-Schwager of the University of Gottingen has led to the recommendation that women who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer avoid mammogram screening. This is relevant for around one in 200..
Writing in the British Medical Journal of 21 November 2002, consultant at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery Peter Misra warns that Botox is a powerful neurotoxin and its very long-term effects unknown. He..
A month-long study of prescribing at an unnamed 550-bed London teaching hospital has shown pharmacists picking up errors in 1.5% of 36,200 prescriptions, a quarter of which were potentially serious. The study, led by Bryony..
The World Health Organisation’s World Health Report 2002
shows that 10% of those entering British Hospitals suffer some measurable harm as a result of medical procedures. Broadly similar to several European countries it is far..
In the first case of its kind, a Data Subject Notice has been served on the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (University College NHS Trust) by Jessica Lawrence, seeking correction of errors in her..
Against the prevailing view of Smith v Eric S Bush
(1989) a judge has held that, where a surveyor prepares a valuation for a lending institution client, on a property being bought as ‘buy-to-let’, he..
Principles underlying exercise of discretion in Lands Tribunal costs awards, where compensation ordered, are different to those under the Civil Procedure Rules. A successful claimant was entitled to full costs incurred absent some special reason..
A tenant was not entitled to set off damages he might be entitled to claim from his landlord against claims against him from a court-appointed manager.
Maunder Taylor v Blaquiere • Court of Appeal • The..
Differences between an application for payment into court as security for costs already incurred and for costs the be accrued during hearing for set-aside of decision. These were relevant to any judicial decision.
CIBC Mellon Trust..
It was unreasonable for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) to fail, without good cause, to determine a claim for compensation within a reasonable time of receiving evidence required. First redress was available in an..
There was no illegality or exceeding of jurisdiction where justices reopened a case so as to set aside a liability order made in ignorance.
Liverpool City Council v Pleroma Distribution Ltd • Queen’s Bench Division •..
Except in exceptional circumstances the High Court should not grant an application of judicial review of a county court refusal of leave to appeal where the applicant had failed to pursue the alternative remedy of..
A local authority that failed to protect the applicants, when children, from sex abuse by their stepfather violated both article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibiting inhuman and degrading treatment) and article..
Held on appeal that a tribunal correctly calculated an employee’s daily rate of pay, for purposes of holiday entitlement, by dividing the annual salary by the number of working days (rather than calendar days) in..
Where a tribunal was called upon to determine a claim of unfair dismissal, the question of whether the dismissal was reasonable in the circumstances was of equal import to other procedural or substantive considerations.
A teacher’s assertion of permanent incapacity and expression of willingness to retire with ill-health retirement benefits was to be treated as a giving of notice. No claim for wrongful dismissal possible.
Healey v Bridgend County Borough..
The duty of employers to protect employees from substances hazardous to health was absolute. This in allowing an appeal against dismissal of a damages claim for latex allergy. [See Employment Affairs].
Dugmore v Swansea NHS Trust..
A workers on scaffolding tower, without outriggers or a complete set of guardrails, sought compensation from his employer after it was tipped up and he suffered injuries. Because of conflicting presentation of claim, at first..
Effective from February 2003, the maximum that can be awarded as a ‘week’s pay’ rises from £250 to £260. Maximum compensatory award from £52,600 to £53,500 with the minimum award for certain automatically unfair dismissals..
A claim alleging ‘mental anguish’ at being passed over for an honour, claimed to be due on precedent of seniority and suchlike, has been dismissed. A district judge at Lincoln County Court ruled that Pollyanna..
Police investigation, and public and media attacks, continue on Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of the Roman Catholic Church in England for allegedly ‘turning a blind eye’ to paedophile priests and allowing them continued opportunity to abuse.
The investigation by Mike Tomlinson, former Chief Inspector of Schools, lays the blame for the A-level fiasco firmly onto the chief executive of the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA board, Dr Ron McLone. Apparently, he wrongly..
Two German IT consultants, Jens Puhle and Heinrich Sawatzki, claim they were forced out of their jobs by constant ‘Nazi’ gibes at American-owned Motorola’s international telephone helpdesk at Swindon. They plan to sue for lost..
New Scientist of 7 December 2002 reports court-ordered release of an internal document, dating back to 1972, in which Union Carbide indicate its significant involvement in the design and running of the Indian subsidiary plant...
On the publication of her first report, Anne Owers, chief inspector of prisons, warned that, under the Human Rights Act, prisoners could sue the Home Office for poor and degrading conditions in jail. She noted..
The Railtrack Private Shareholders’ Action Group, with 39,000 members and growing, reports that it has raised £1.5mn towards the £2mn required before they launch action against the government over the financial effects of collapse of..
While considering legal action, shareholders of Cable & Wireless have approached the Financial Services Authority (FSA) calling for investigation as to whether C&W has infringed UK listing rules by failing to disclose a £1.5bn tax..
The seven Equitable Life policyholders groups are uniting to seek around £4bn compensation from the government for failure of regulation and other errors in relation to Equitable Life. The Parliamentary ombudsman is currently looking at..
Lloyd's and the Lloyd's Crest are trademarks of the Society incorporated by the Lloyd's Act 1871
by the name of Lloyd's