LETTER: Lloyd's a victim of US judicial system

Share
Related Topics
From Mr J. D. Burrows

Sir: We learn from your paper this week of the fifth successive year of heavy losses totalling some £8bn that is bringing Lloyd's of London to its knees ("Lloyd's denies collapse is imminent", 25 April).

Yesterday you reported ("Lloyd's bosses summoned before House committee", 26 April) that members are to be served with writs by their own agents to pay their share of unpaid debts.

Thus David Rowland, Lloyd's council chairman, sets agents against their principals as he expects those who are able to pay their alleged open- ended and continuing debts in full.

But neither Lloyd's council nor the agents have been able to provide names with evidence that asbestosis and environmental pollution settlements are based on sound interpretation of early policies, where it was never the intent of the underwriter at the time to cover such uninsurable matters, as defined by contemporary insurance principles and practice.

US court decisions are based on the unchallenged judgment of one man, Judge Ira A. Brown Jnr in the San Francisco Superior Court on 24 January 1990. After spending many years considering asbestos insurance coverage cases, he decided that since asbestos particles absorbed in the human body cause injury - setting up disease - employers' annual liability policies covered the event.

Similarly, it was decided that deliberate but lawful dumping of toxic wastes must, by subsequent US government decision, be cleared; and US courts held that employers' liability policies for "accidental pollution", issued years earlier, covered the cost.

Professionals on both sides of the Atlantic are at last recognising that these interpretations of policy wordings, in an effort to meet perceived needs rather than the intent of the parties at inception, is at the basis of the problem that threatens the insurance industry. Meanwhile, millions are being spent litigating the issues.

Unless Lloyd's now takes a lead to stand up to the basic problem and call a halt, rather than trying to keep US customers happy, Lloyd's, after over 300 years, will slide into oblivion - a victim of the US judicial system. Both the UK and the US will be deprived of the revenue they once enjoyed from a business that has served the public need, and may now disappear below the waves.

Yours faithfully,

J. D. BURROWS

Bury

West Sussex

27 April

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Syria's Kurds have little choice but to flee amid the desolution, ruins and danger they face

Patrick Cockburn
A bartender serves two Mojito cocktails  

For the twenty-somethings of today, growing up is hard to do

Simon Kelner
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones