Lloyd's case dismissed by US judge

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LLOYD'S insurance market has won a victory in the latest attempt to bring an action for damages in the US courts, where awards can be far higher than in London.

Judge Morris E Lasker, of the Southern district court in New York, dismissed actions brought by 100 US plaintiffs against the market and against managing and members' agents, a spokesman for the market said.

Judge Lasker agreed with Lloyd's that the contracts signed by the plaintiffs with the market included an agreement to take any dispute with their agents to England.

Lloyd's released excerpts from Judge Lasker's statement in which he said: 'Plaintiffs went to England to become members of a distinctively British entity, invested in syndicates operating out of London and entered numerous contracts all of which stated plainly that Lloyd's affairs and plaintiffs' investment would be administered in England and were subject exclusively to English law, English courts and English arbitration.'

The transactions were international ones, invalidating the US plaintiffs' case that they were illegally deprived of protection under US securities and racketeering laws.