CLICO representatives and state agencies being sued for US $64 million in Barbados

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday January 30, 2013 – The gloves are now off as after four years of waiting without redress, the representative body for the investors and policyholders in the Barbados operations of failed insurance companies CLICO and British American Insurance Company (BAICO) have launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit to reclaim outstanding monies owed to them. 

In a release issued to the media this week, the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) announced that they had instructed their attorneys-at-Law, Alair Shepherd QC and Esther Obiora Arthur, to serve Pre-Action Protocol Letters to the directors of BAICO and CLICO, as well as to the Supervisor of Insurance, the Attorney General of Barbados and auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The letters are accompanied by Draft Statements of Claims, which list a litany of alleged acts of negligence on the part of the Directors and Auditors of BAICO and CLICO, as well as the alleged negligence and breach of statutory duties on the part of the then Supervisor of Insurance, all of which it is claimed individually and collectively contributed to the unnecessary demise of the two companies, and the consequent massive losses to policyholders. 

The Attorney General is being sued as representing the Crown, which is responsible for the actions and defaults of the Supervisor of Insurance.  The claims associated with BAICO amount to BDS$52 million, while those relating to CLICO amount to BDS$76 million.

BAICO directors named in the claim as defendants are Lawrence Duprey, Brian Branker and Robert Fullerton. 

In the CLICO Claim, directors named as Defendants are Leroy Parris, Anthony Ellis, Terrence Thornhill, Woodbine Davis QC, Leslie Haynes QC, Elridge Thompson, Adrian Lorde, Basil Springer, Edrick Griffith and Vishnu Ramlogan.

The defendants are required to respond within 14 days of the Pre-Action Protocol Letters, failing which; legal proceedings will be commenced without further notice.

“It is with a heavy heart that BIPA has instructed its Attorneys-at-Law to proceed with these actions” says BIPA President, June Fowler, “but as we approach the fourth anniversary of the collapse of CLICO in Trinidad, the 35,000 policyholders of both BAICO and CLICO in Barbados are no closer to a satisfactory resolution, despite many of our regional neighbours having taken action and come up with plans, some of which are already repaying policyholders.”

Fowler also lamented the fact that numerous Government self-imposed deadline promises have passed in Barbados with no results, and highlights continuing contradictory statements by those in authority which have left policyholders with more questions than answers, while the cost of Judicial Management increases daily with no discernible results favouring policyholders.

BIPA stated it hoped that this action will bring to justice those who failed in their statutory duties either by action or omission and were thus culpable in allowing the situation to develop and deteriorate unchecked.    BIPA also notes that the respective Judicial Managers have failed to pursue these avenues to recover the shortfalls suffered by the companies and their policyholders.

“Having pursued various other more conciliatory avenues over the past two years without success,” states June Fowler, “BIPA has been left with no alternative but to represent the best interests of its members by taking this action.”

Whilst the Alliance campaigns for the rights and restitution of funds to all 35,000 policyholders in Barbados, the Court action names as Claimants, only those policyholders who are members of BIPA so the recovery may be limited to the losses suffered by those individuals. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)