Insurance firms secure major victory in court

"The industry itself now has a precedent"

Insurance firms secure major victory in court


By Kenneth Araullo

In what is considered a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court, insurers have secured a legal victory regarding the enforcement of choice of law provisions in maritime contracts.

The case, which pitted Great Lakes Insurance against Raider Retreat Realty, saw the court unanimously siding with the argument presented by Applied Underwriters’ subsidiary, Concept Special Risks, on behalf of the insurer.

Justice Kavanaugh, authoring the opinion and supported by a separate concurrence from Justice Thomas, affirmed that the choice of law or venue stipulated in a maritime insurance policy is binding, safeguarding it from the influence of a jurisdiction’s potential bias or a plaintiff’s preference.

Steve Menzies, chairman of Applied Underwriters, emphasized the broader implications of the ruling for the insurance industry, praising it as a precedent-setting victory and a testament to Applied Underwriters’ commitment to legal integrity:

“We have long been committed to fighting and winning legal and regulatory disputes without compromise — in this case all the way up to the Supreme Court, on behalf of one of our clients, Great Lakes Insurance SE. Insurers, we believe, are obligated to hold the line on contract integrity in the face of activist and plaintiffs’ bar-dominated legal battlefields,” Menzies said.

Menzies also described the win as “clarifying for the business itself” as well as strong encouragement for the firm and its legal team.

Jamie Sahara, president of Applied Underwriters, also expressed satisfaction with the outcome, viewing it as reflective of the company’s client-first ethos.

“We see in this decision, so evidently clear in the Supreme Court’s wording, that it pays to stand up for clients no matter what it takes, and to insist upon the value and integrity of the policy contract. I am proud of our work and the brilliant result we have had from the wise and well-versed Justices. The industry itself now has a precedent,” Sahara said.

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