FIJI COURT RULES INSURANCE MUST COVER COUP LOOTING

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, May 19) - Four years after the Fiji coup, the Suva High Court has handed down two landmark rulings ordering insurance companies to pay for damages caused by looting.

Fiji TV reports that the insurance companies had refused to pay millions of dollars saying that their policies did not cover losses caused by political insurrection and riots.

But the Fiji TV reports that Justice Devendra Pathik has ruled against Lloyds of London for the US$2.9 million in damage caused to the Tappoos store in Suva.

Justice Pathik ruled that the loss and damage to Tappoos was caused by looting and malicious rioting, not events in parliament.

He said the looting was for personal gain, and not part of George Speight and his group.

In another ruling, Justice Pathik has ordered F.A.I. Insurance to pay Rajendra Prasad Supermarket US$1.5 million in damages on the same grounds as in the Lloyds of London case.

The rulings have opened the way for a range of claims against insurance companies for the damage caused during the looting and arson attacks of May 19th, 2000.

May 20, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/

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