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

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings  

Election 2015: Smash the two-party system! Smash the voting system!

Armando Iannucci
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power