The primary question before HHJ Peter Coulson QC in
John F Hunt Demolition Ltd v ASME Engineering Ltd  EWHC 1507 (TCC) was a related one, namely whether a subcontractor is entitled to immunity in tort from an action by the employer where the contract between the employer and head contractor contemplates that the loss in question will be covered by the employer’s insurance.
Construction contracts contain elaborate provisions for the allocation of risk as between the employer and contractor. In addition to express provisions relating to indemnities for particular forms of loss there may also be insuring obligations. The interrelationship of these provisions was discussed by HHJ Gilliland QC in
Tyco Fire & Integrated Solutions (UK) Ltd v Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd  EWHC 137 (TCC), where it was held that the employer’s obligation to take out joint names insurance relieved the contractor from any liability for negligent damage to the insured subject matter
The Court of Appeal in
Poole v HM Treasury  EWCA Civ 1021 has upheld the decision of Langley J,  Lloyd’s Rep IR 114, dismissing an action by Lloyd’s Names seeking damages against the UK Government for failing to implement EC law so as to protect them against underwriting losses. The first instance decision was discussed in the February 2007 issue of Insurance Law Monthly.
Byrne v Motor Insurers’ Bureau  EWHC 1268 (QB) the victim of a hit-and-run driver asserted that the three-year limitation period imposed upon him by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau’s Untraced Drivers Agreement of 1972 did not comply with the EU’s Second Motor Insurance Directive, Council Directive 84/5/EEC and could not be enforced. The matters coming before Flaux J were preliminary issues on assumed facts. As will be seen below, Flaux J held that the UK was in breach of the Directive and that it was arguable that the default gave rise to damages.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 in combination provide complete coverage for an employee injured at work where the injury arises out of the use or negligent use of the employer’s motor vehicle. In some cases the employers’ liability policy is required to respond, as is the case where an employee is run down by a workmate, while in others the motor liability policy is required to respond, as is the case where the employee is a passenger. The demarcation line between the two regimes is not always clear, a point illustrated by
Axa Insurance UK plc v Norwich Union Insurance Ltd  EWHC 1046 (Comm).
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