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German transport company seeks $3.1 m against Industrial Maritime Carriers

A Bermuda-domiciled shipping firm is being sued for $3.1 million in the United States by a German transport company.Industrial Maritime Carriers (Bermuda) Ltd. is a defendant in a civil complaint that was filed by HHL Heavy Lift & Load Transport GmbH & Co. KG at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 29, 2008.

Scottish Re settles shareholders’ class action for $37.5 m

Scottish Re Group Ltd., several current and former officers and directors, its auditor, and the underwriters of two public offerings of the reinsurer's shares in 2005 have agreed to pay $37.5 million in cash to settle a class action lawsuit.An order preliminarily approving the proposed settlement was issued by Shira A. Scheindlin at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on September 8, 2008.

Steamship Mutual asks US judge to cap liability to member

A Bermuda-based protection and indemnity club has asked a United States judge to cap the limit of its liability concerning a claim by one of its members.Details are contained in a civil complaint filed by Tiber Shipping LLC, based in New York, owner of the M/V Tiber; Rio Grande Transport, Inc., based in New York, charterer of the M/V Tiber; and Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Ltd, of which the M/V Tiber was a member, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on September 18, 2008.

Artex Risk Solutions seeks $1.4 m against Florida employment agency

A Bermuda-based insurer is insurer is seeking damages of $1.4 million against a Miami-based employment agency for alleged breach of contract.Artex Risk Solutions (Bermuda) Ltd., formerly known as Artex Insurance Company Ltd., incorporated and based in Bermuda, and United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, incorporated and based in Maryland filed a complaint against Deanna Enterprises, Inc., d.b.a. A1A Employment of Miami, incorporated and based in Florida, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on August 7, 2008.

XL Capital Assurance faces potential $331 pay-out after collapse of IndyMac Bank

A subsidiary of Bermuda-domiciled Syncora Holdings Ltd., formerly Security Capital Assurance Ltd., is on the hook for $331 million regarding a financial guaranty policy issued to the recently-collapsed IndyMac Bank.Details are contained in a complaint that was filed by XL Capital Assurance, Inc., now called Syncora Guarantee, Inc., at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 27, 2008. IndyMac Bank FSB was later replaced as the sole defendant by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation after the latter was appointed conservator of the bank on July 11, 2008.

ACE sued for $133 m in Cayman over unpaid claims arising from Liberian civil war

ACE Ltd. is being sued for US$133 million at the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands by the Receiver of the Liberian operations of CIGNA Worldwide Insurance Company.The action was brought on July 9, 2008 - one day before ACE's shareholders approved - at the company's AGM in Bermuda - a proposal to move ACE's domicile from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland. Two days prior to the completion of its re-domestication being announced on July 18, ACE gave a written undertaking to the Cayman court that its Swiss successor would submit to the jurisdiction following the transfer and pay any sum that the court might order in the case. Without such an undertaking, it is questionable whether ACE would have been allowed to move to Switzerland.

SEC and ex-RenRe boss seek to exclude testimony from securities fraud trial

Former RenaissanceRe Chairman and CEO James Stanard has filed a motion to exclude the testimony of another ex-RenRe officer, Michael Cash, from his upcoming trial at federal court in New York, where he is defending a civil complaint alleging securities fraud that was brought by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

John Charman is still king of Bermuda market with shares worth $221 m

AXIS Capital President and CEO John Charman has increased his lead as the Bermuda insurance executive with the most valuable portfolio of shares in his or her publicly-listed employer. Charman, 55, beneficially owned shares in AXIS Capital that had a market value of $221 million as of July 31, 2008, according to a share-ownership review of insurance executives by InsideBermuda.

Arch Capital sued for alleged non-payment of California rail-crash claims

Bermuda-based Arch Capital Group Ltd. and two of its US-domiciled operating subsidiaries are being sued for allegedly refusing to pay claims arising out of litigation filed on behalf of 11 dead and nearly 200 injured victims of a multiple train crash in California two years ago. Plaintiff the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, d.b.a. Metrolink, is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $1.5 million, plus punitive damages, in a civil complaint that was filed at the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, on June 9, 2008 and transferred to the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California on July 14.

Complaint filed against Founders Insurance and quickly dropped

A civil complaint against Bermuda-based Founders Insurance Company Limited has been dismissed at federal court in the United States just 20 days after it was filed by a company that created and managed sub-prime automobile loan portfolios. The complaint was filed by Centrix Funds, LLC, formed in Delaware; Centrix Loan Participation Fund-Series CLPF, Centrix Loan Trust, Centrix Loan Trust II, Centrix CLPF-2A Loan Trust, Centrix CLPF-2 Loan Trust, Centrix CLLPF-5 Loan Trust, and Centrix Special Series Loan Trust, all formed in Delaware as 'series trusts', at the U. S. District Court for the District of Colorado on July 9, 2008 and terminated on July 29.

Fidelity mutual fund group continues its ownership dominance in Bermuda market

Boston, Massachusetts-based mutual fund group Fidelity continues to be the biggest single investor — by a considerable margin — in the Bermuda insurance and reinsurance market.Fidelity owns at least 5% of the common shares of 10 of the 17 Bermuda-based companies publicly-listed in the United States that were included in an ownership review by InsideBermuda, based on filings with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Class action brought against Arch Specialty Insurance over Florida deductibles

A class action complaint has been filed in Florida against a subsidiary of Bermuda-based Arch Capital Group Ltd. on behalf of all insureds who filed claims for hurricane damages and had deductibles and penalties reduced from their payments.Plaintiff PHLD Partnership, which owns property in Florida, claims that all property insurance policies issued by Nebraska-domiciled Arch Specialty Insurance Company in Florida fail to comply with the law and, therefore, should be declared void.

Bermuda Insurance Compensation Review: Argo Group boss was best-paid officer in 2007

Mark Watson, CEO of Argo Group International Holdings Ltd., was the highest-compensated executive officer of any Bermuda-based, publicly-listed insurer in 2007, receiving a package valued at $15 million. Watson was one of one of four executives whose remuneration for the 12 months ended December 31, 2007 totaled at least $10 million, with the others being ACE's Evan Greenberg, AXIS Capital's John Charman, and Everest Re Group's Joseph Taranto, with packages of $14 million, $12.5 million, and $10.2 million, respectively.

Marsh and former Bermuda-based senior officer settle litigation

Litigation between the Marsh group and a former Managing Director of Marsh Global Broking (Bermuda) Ltd., Joseph LaRocco Jr., has been settled just four months after it was started.LaRocco's complaint was dismissed with prejudice and without costs at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on May 14, 2008. The terms of the settlement have not been publicly-disclosed.

Comcast Corp. sues Bermuda insurers for $14 m in hurricane-related damages

Two Bermuda-based firms, Allied World Assurance Company and ACE Underwriting Agencies Limited, are among 13 defendants being sued for $14.7 million by U. S. Comcast Corporation over an insurance claim for damages caused by a hurricane that struck Florida in 2004. The complaint was filed by Pennsylvania-based Comcast Corporation, which is the largest cable television company and second largest Internet Service Provider in the U. S. and also a provider of telephone services, at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on April 9, 2008. The sole cause of action is breach of contract.

XL seeks to avoid paying out under Refco D&O policy

A U. S. subsidiary of Bermuda-based XL Capital Ltd. is seeking to avoid having to pay the costs of defending former officers and directors of scandal-plagued commodities and futures broker Refco Inc. in a slew of litigation brought by parties who claim they were defrauded. XL Specialty Insurance Company, which is incorporated in Delaware and based in Hartford, Connecticut, claims an insurance policy it issued does not cover such losses because Refco was involved in fraudulent conduct before the policy became effective but hid the activity from XL.

SCA hit with class actions lawsuits filed by buyers of municipal bonds

Bermuda-based Security Capital Assurance Ltd., in which XL Capital owns a 46% stake, has been hit with a new wave of class action lawsuits. Already facing class action litigation brought on behalf of shareholders for alleged fraud, the latest lawsuits seek to recover damages on behalf of purchasers of municipal derivatives from January 1, 1992 to the present. The latest class action complaints - numbering three so far - were filed at three different federal courts in the United States from March 12 to April 23, 2008, with eight municipalities or cities and one university as the specimen plaintiffs.

Stirling Cooke Bankruptcy Trustee seeks return of ‘fraudulent’ transfers

Ten weeks after a judge dismissed the main counts of an $80 million claim against Goldman Sachs and others, the Bankruptcy Trustee of Bermuda-based AlphaStar Insurance Group Ltd., formerly known as Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Ltd., has filed an amended complaint in which he is seeking reduced damages of just $815,638. The amended complaint was filed at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on April 29, 2008 by Richard E. O'Connell, the Bankruptcy Trustee of AlphaStar and several related entities.

More Bermuda insurance groups sue U. S. Gov’t for Katrina-related damages

Two United States-based subsidiaries of Bermuda firms have joined a slew of litigation by insurers and reinsurers who are seeking damages against the United States Government for claims caused by Hurricane Katrina.The two new actions were filed at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on March 7, 2008 and brought to 1,568 the number of Katrina-related cases filed at the court against the Government, which have been rolled into one lead action.

State of Louisiana sues Bermuda P&I Club for $12 m

A Bermuda-based P&I Club is being sued for $12 million damages after an oil tanker collided with a bridge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd. is a defendant along with Kition Shipping Co. Ltd., V. Ships Switzerland SA, Crescent Towing & Salvage Co. Inc., E. N. Bisso & Son Inc., J. Strahan, Jr., and M/T Kition in a complaint that was filed by the State of Louisiana, through its Department of Transportation and Development, at the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana on February 6, 2008.

Merrill Lynch seeks to enforce $3.1 b in guarantees from XL Capital Assurance

London-based Merrill Lynch International has filed a lawsuit against a subsidiary of Bermuda-based bond insurer Security Capital Assurance Ltd. in an attempt to enforce guarantees of up to $3.1 billion.MLI, which is incorporated in England and Wales, filed a complaint at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on March 19, 2008. Defendants are XL Capital Assurance Inc., which is incorporated and based in New York and a subsidiary of SCA, and XLCA Admin LLC, as Trustee for seven trusts, which are all based in New York. MLI is seeking declaratory judgments that guarantees from XLCA are "binding and enforceable".

Letter from Bermuda: A sign of the times? Bermuda’s main insurance conference moves to Dubai

The month of March, 2008 may be viewed by history as the beginning of the demise of the Bermuda insurance market. A 60-year growth pattern, the envy of every other country in the world, is now threatened by short-sightedness and greed on the part of the Bermuda Government. Insurance executives are talking openly about "voting with their feet" as the only way of dealing with the Government's rapaciousness. If they leave, Bermuda will be up against it.Two major events marked the month. First, the World Insurance Forum, a Bermuda event since its inauguration in 1994, an event organised by Bermuda people, voted with its feet and was held in Dubai, in a tent. The Forum is a world-beating franchise that allows very senior insurance people to come together every two years to thrash out major issues. It is the insurance equivalent of the World Economic Forum, held in Davos. Attracting people to Bermuda in the spring is not a difficult task, and the Forum apparently attracted up to 750 attendees.

Financially-troubled captive fights arbitration ruling that it post $70 m in security

A Bermuda-based captive that admits to being in "dire financial condition" is fighting an arbitration panel's order that it post security of $70 million in a dispute over coverage for sub-prime automobile loans in the United States.Details are contained in litigation at the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey between Founders Insurance Company Ltd., which is managed in Bermuda by Bott & Associates, and Everest Reinsurance Company, a Delaware corporation based in New Jersey that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bermuda-registered Everest Re Group Ltd.

Steamship Mutual sued by injured seaman

A seaman has filed a petition to recover court-awarded damages against protection and indemnity club The Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Limited. Anthony Todd filed his petition at the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, in Louisiana, on January 18, 2008. The case that was removed by Steamship Mutual to the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on March 4, 2008.

Goodhealth Worldwide sued for alleged non-payment of claim for treatment of child

A Bermuda firm that specializes in health insurance is refusing to pay the medical bill for a three-year-old child who choked on medication, fell into a coma and was flown from the Netherlands Antilles to Miami for emergency treatment, it has been claimed. The insurer allegedly claimed that the treatment was "improperly authorized" and "unnecessary". Details are contained in a petition that was filed by International Managed Care Services Inc., a Florida corporation that was bought by Aetna last October, against Goodhealth Worldwide (Bermuda) Ltd. at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on March 5, 2008. In its petition, IMCS is seeking the appointment of an arbitrator and to compel arbitration in Miami.

KPMG agrees to pay $10.5 m to settle lawsuit over audits of Bermuda reinsurer

KPMG (Bermuda) has agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle class action shareholder litigation concerning its audits of Bermuda-based Annuity & Life Re (Holdings) Ltd. An order approving a provisional settlement agreement was issued by U. S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns, sitting at the U. S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, on February 19, 2008. The settlement amount was due to be paid by KPMG "within ten business days" of the date of the order. KPMG entered into the settlement without admitting any wrongdoing.

Goldman Sachs & Stirling Cooke’s D&O win legal victory regarding alleged fraud cover-up

An action in New York to hold Goldman Sachs and several former officers and directors of Bermuda-based Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Ltd. liable for allegedly "squandering" $80 million of the fraudulently-operated insurance broker's corporate assets has failed. On February 19, 2008, Chief U. S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein dismissed all of the core counts alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against the Goldman Sachs and the D&O defendants in a complaint brought by the group's Bankruptcy Trustee, Richard O'Connell, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Sphere Drake sued for $200 million in New York

Bermuda-based insurer Sphere Drake is facing potential claims of more than $200 million from a civil lawsuit that has been filed in New York.The man who filed the action, Richard Breeden, called on the company to "honor its obligations" over reinsurance coverage he said it provided to two bankrupt US companies he is administering, Bennett Funding Group, Inc. and The Processing Center, Inc.

Legion Insurance insolvency worsens

The net deficit of Legion Insurance Company, a former operating subsidiary of Bermuda-based Mutual Risk Management Ltd., increased by $15 million to $637 million in the third quarter of 2007, according to the latest liquidators report.

Aspen Insurance sued in Louisiana over oil spill claims

A United Kingdom subsidiary of Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. is being sued in the United States for allegedly failing to pay claims concerning an oil spill. Eagle Oil Management Co. LLC, based in Caddo, Louisiana, is seeking unspecific compensatory and punitive damages in a civil complaint that it filed against Aspen Insurance UK Ltd. at the 1st Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo in the State of Louisiana on October 22, 2007. The case was transferred to the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on November 16, 2007 by Aspen Insurance.

US construction firms sue Arch Capital subsidiaries

Two subsidiaries of Bermuda-based Arch Capital Group Ltd. are being sued in the United States in a dispute over construction performance bonds. Arch Insurance Co. and Arch Reinsurance Co. were named as the only defendants in a civil complaint that was filed at the 250th Judicial District Court of Travis County, Texas on October 9, 2007 and later transferred by the Arch companies to the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on November 8, 2007.

US Gov’t sues Bermuda-based SIGCo after San Francisco oil spill

The United States Government is suing a Bermuda-domiciled financial guaranty provider and others for unspecified damages following the spilling of an estimated 58,000 gallons of oil after the container ship Cosco Busan collided with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge during heavy fog on November 7, 2007.

Stirling Cooke Bankruptcy Trustee settles with Clarendon Insurance for $42 m

The now-defunct, Bermuda-based insurance broker best-known as Stirling Cooke Brown has agreed to pay up to $42.3 million to settle claims with its one-time business partner, Clarendon Insurance Group. A motion to approve the settlement was filed by Stirling Cooke's Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, Richard E. O'Connell, at the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on November 30, 2007.

Arch Capital subsidiary sued by security firm

A U. S. subsidiary of Bermuda-based Arch Capital Group Limited is being sued in New Jersey by a large, privately-held property management and security services company. Arch Insurance Company, based in Stamford, Connecticut, is a defendant along with IOA Re, described as a "professional reinsurance underwriter manager" headquartered in Norristown, Pennsylvania; and The Loomis Company, described as an "independent insurance agency" based in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, in a complaint that was filed by Control Services Group, a New Jersey corporation based in Secaucus, New Jersey, at the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, on September 19, 2007 and transferred to the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on November 2, 2007 by IOA Re.

Everest Re subsidiary sued for $52 m in Ohio by quadriplegic shooting victim and shooter

A U. S. subsidiary of Bermuda-domiciled Everest Re Group Ltd. is fighting an attempt to hold it responsible for a $52.4 million judgment against one of its insureds. Everest Indemnity Insurance Company, a Delaware corporation based in New Jersey, is embroiled in litigation at state and federal courts in Ohio with Joshua Doepker, Kevin Johnson, and Willo Security Inc.

Judge who won $2 m libel victory wants $6.8 m more, says Bermuda insurer

A Massachusetts judge who received $3.4 million from the Boston Herald six months ago to satisfy a libel award allegedly demanded an additional $6.8 million from the newspaper's Bermuda-based insurer.Instead of complying with the alleged demand, however, Mutual Insurance Company Limited apparently offered The Honorable Ernest B. Murphy $100 and then filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against him at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on August 16, 2007.

OIL Insurance and Murphy Oil sue US Gov’t over $785 m in Katrina claims

Bermuda-based Oil Insurance Limited and one of its insureds are suing the United States Government for damages over Hurricane Katrina claims totaling $785 million.In one of two civil complaints filed at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on August 28, 2007, OIL and co-plaintiff Murphy Oil USA Inc. described Katrina as “one of the most preventable catastrophes in American history caused by the negligence, fault and/or strict liability of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Board of Commissioners of the Orleans Parish Levee District, and The Board of Commissioners of the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District”.

Subsidiaries of Bermuda insurers accused of involvement in price-fixing scheme

Two subsidiaries of Bermuda-based insurers have been named as “co-conspirators” of reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter in an alleged billion-dollar, price-fixing scheme that Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal claims “illegally inflated insurance costs for insurance companies and consumers nationwide”.Details are contained in a civil complaint filed by the State of Connecticut at the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Hartford, Connecticut on October 4, 2007.

US Gov’t turns over criminal investigation records to ex-RenRe officer Michael Cash

Former RenaissanceRe officer Michael Cash has won a legal battle to force the U. S. Government to turn over records concerning a criminal investigation into alleged fraud at the reinsurer.After months of delays and in the face of an imminent court order forcing it to comply with subpoenas from Cash, the U. S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York finally relented and agreed to provide the document by July 31, 2007. 

Continental Casualty seeks to stop LaSalle Re arbitration

An Illinois-based commercial insurer has applied for a court order to halt arbitration proceedings in Canada brought by property and casualty insurer LaSalle Re Limited, which is a subsidiary of LaSalle Re Holdings Ltd. (in liquidation).

Everest Re appears to have won arbitration with Mutual of Enumclaw

Everest Reinsurance Company appears to have come out on top in arbitration proceedings with U. S.-based Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company.That is the most obvious inference from an application to confirm an arbitration award that was filed by Everest Re at the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on July 27, 2007.

Bermuda insurers sued over non-payment of $3.9 m claim regarding Florida fire

Two Bermuda insurers are being sued for allegedly refusing to pay a $3.9 million claim concerning a fire at a commercial property in FloridaDetails are contained in a complaint that was filed by Lexington Insurance Company, a Delaware corporation, as assignee of Kimco Kissimmee 613, Inc., and Kimco Kissimmee 613, Inc., a Florida corporation based in New Hyde Park, New York, at the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on May 18, 2007.