Lloyd’s Underwriters is challenging a Canadian court’s order to cover the theft of a golden, diamond-studded eagle.
Last month, the BC Supreme Court issued a default judgment against the insurer, ordering Lloyd’s to pay plaintiff Forgotten Treasures International and its president, Ron Shore, for damages and costs related to the loss of the statue. The court issued the judgment after Lloyd’s failed to answer Shore’s lawsuit. However, Lloyd’s said in documents filed last month that Shore’s lawyer was well aware that the insurer first wanted more details before filing its notice of response.
The insurer also said in documents that its lawyers also urged Shore’s counsel to confirm default proceedings were not underway. Lloyd’s claims it only learned of the judgment four days after it had been made.
Court documents also reveal that Lloyd’s plans to challenge the order next month. The insurer claims that Shore failed to ensure that the statue was accompanied by at least two people, The Canadian Press reported.
The stolen bird, encrusted with 763 diamonds, was part of a global treasure hunt held by Shore. Contestants in the treasure hunt stood a chance of winning one of 12 silver eagles – replicas of the golden eagle. The golden eagle was to be auctioned at the end of the hunt to finance the $1 million grand prize.
Five of the silver eagles had already been awarded to treasure hunters when Shore was attacked in 2016 while he was visiting a Ladner church to promote the contest; the attackers made off with the golden eagle, as well as one of the silver eagles.
During the night of the attack, Shore was accompanied by a friend, Tanya Merx, who is a psychologist.
“I’m not technically a security guard, I’m a psychologist for a living, but for that night — like, I don’t know what the terms are, security guard, like I find that a bit confusing — but I was the second person with him,” Merx told a Lloyd’s claims adjuster.
Merx claimed that Shore was not showing the eagles around during the church event, but when asked about the eagles by one of the guests, Shore confirmed that he had them in his possession. After walking Merx to her car that night, Shore was attacked en-route to his own vehicle – he was hit over the head and the thieves cut open his bag to steal the eagles.
According to Forgotten Treasure’s documents, the insurance policy for the golden bird had liability set at $400,000. Liability for loss of the silver bird was set at $53,750. Documents filed by Lloyd’s said that the policy limits of liability for the eagles were $710,000 and $53,750, respectively.
Lloyd’s, however, denied coverage for the loss in October 2016, Shore’s civil claim said.
CBC News reported that Shore is also suing the Insurance Corporation of BC for injuries suffered during the attack. Shore claimed that his arm was trapped in the window of the getaway vehicle of the thieves, and they dragged him some 200 metres until the window was finally lowered and he was released. The contest maker claims he suffered a concussion and torn meniscus, as well as other injuries.