Counterclaim action proceeding
A lawsuit filed in February 2006 that alleged a conspiracy to defraud Cayman General Insurance Company and the Proprietors of Strata Plan Number 151 was dismissed in Grand Court on Wednesday.
The claim concerned construction work done to the Windsor Village condominium development to repair damage caused by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.
The seven defendants in the case included Alastair Paterson; John Hurlston; Robert Hurlston; Crawford Adjusters (Cayman) Ltd.; Hurlston Ltd; Hurlston General Contractors Limited; and Bould Paterson Limited.
The Proprietors of Strata Plan 151 dropped out of the action some time ago, though they are still formally part of the action. Their rights, however, have been subjugated to Sagicor General.
Attorney for the plaintiffs Hector Robinson of Mourant advised Justice Alex Henderson of his client’s position when Wednesday’s proceedings began.
‘The plaintiffs will not proceed with the claim and will not object to a judgment being issued against eh plaintiffs with respect to all defendants of the claim,’ he said.
With the original claim resolved, the matter proceeded with a counterclaim initiated by the defendants.
The issue of costs of the claim were left until the counterclaim brought by Hurlston Ltd. was completed. The counterclaim alleges loss of profits; abuse of process and conversion.
QC Thomas Lowe, who represented the Hurlstons and their companies on instructions of the law firm Myers and Alberga, spoke about the ex parte Moreva injunction that was obtained against his clients, which he called ‘highly misleading’.
‘It trashed the reputation of my client quite wrongly,’ he said. ‘I’m mystified why a reputable insurer would behave in such a way.’
In response to Mr. Lowe’s argument, Justice Henderson directed that there be an assessment of damages with respect to the Moreva injunction.
Alastair Patterson, Crawford Adjusters and Bould Paterson Limited were represented by Michael Todd QC, on the instructions of Attorney Graham Hampson.
Mr. Hampson spoke about the judgment in favour of the plaintiffs after Wednesday’s proceedings.
‘On Alastair’s behalf, I can say we are greatly pleased that his reputation emerges unscathed as result of today’s action,’ he said. ‘No doubt we’ll have further comment once the matter is concluded.’
Mr. Hampson said when it came to costs, Mr. Paterson would be claiming ‘full indemnity costs’ arising from the matter.
John Hurlston also commented on the dismissal of claim.
‘We’ve been vindicated,’ he said. ‘We’re very pleased Sagicor General has failed miserably in its quest to paint us as frauds.’
Sagicor General President Danny Scott was in attendance when evidence was heard for the counterclaim aspect of the case. Mr. Scott said he could make no comment at the time about the case.
The lawsuit was filed before the Barbados-based Sagicor Financial Corporation Group, through a Jamaica-based subsidiary, bought a 51-per-cent share in Cayman General in November 2005. The company re-branded to Sagicor in September 2006.
Sagicor then acquired Cayman National Corporation’s remaining 24 per cent interest in the company in October 2007.
The Cayman Islands Government owns the remaining 24 per cent of Sagicor, which it received from Cayman General as part of a negotiated settlement for the government’s Hurricane Ivan claim.
The counterclaim action continued with witness testimony on Wednesday