Maritime to appeal $1m accident payout

Local insurance firm Maritime General Insurance intends to appeal a judge’s ruling that it must pay out $1 million payout as the insurers of a car which ploughed into a group of limers at a bar in El Dorado in 2012, killing five people and injuring at least five others.

Last week, Justice Joan Charles entered judgment against the driver of the car; the car’s owner; and Maritime, ordering the insurance company to pay the estate of Harrylal Mongroo, one of the five who were killed.

The accident happened outside Palance Bar, on June 12, 2012.

Mongroo’s case was treated as a test case for another claim arising out of the accident.

Maritime had argued it was not liable, since the car had been sold and it had not been informed of this.

Maritime’s attorneys advised the firm to appeal the decision. The advice, obtained by Newsday, considered the judge’s decision to rely on evidence which had previously been struck out by the court. The advice said the court’s final ruling “inexplicably” considered the evidence, which was not part of the case.

Maritime’s attorneys also advised that there appeared to be a misapprehension of Maritime’s pleaded and presented case on the sale of the vehicle. Maritime argued that it was not in a position to know of the sale and its attorneys said the judge did not weight all the evidence before her.

She was also faulted for disregarding other crucial pieces of evidence, her calculation of the award of damages and the decision to subsume the dependency claim under the survival claim.

The company was advised:.“It is remarkable to me that in this case, myriad serious issues of law as regards an insurer's liability under motor insurance policies in this country were raised by Maritime and fully argued before the learned judge, and yet the final judgment addresses none and is utterly silent thereon: the learned judge did not deal with a single authority upon which there had been full submissions, the final judgment contains no analysis of the relevant law and is useless as a guide to future cases.”

Maritime is expected to file its notice of appeal in the coming weeks.

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