21 May 2004

Fiji businessman welcomes coup insurance ruling

10:52 am on 21 May 2004

The Marketing Manager of Tappoo Holdings, one of three Fiji companies involved in the fight to get damages from its insurance company following looting after the coup in May 2000, says they were determined to win.

Nalinesh Arun, says they knew they were in the right, despite Lloyds of London refusing to pay US$3.5 million, because, it argued, its policies did not cover losses caused by political insurrection and riots.

But Justice Devendra Pathik has ruled the looting was for personal gain and looters had nothing to do with George Speight and his group.

Mr Arun said it was a moral victory.

"We were very much aware, that we were in the right, it was just a matter of convincing other party. The important part was that, being there, seeing it through, determined to see it through. The worst part of it was that there's a whole lot of other small businesses, that accepted their fate, instead of just fighting their whole way through, they've accepted whatever their insurance company had told them."

Tappoo Holdings and Tappoo Limited now have 14 days to apply for a court hearing which will then decide how much money Lloyds must pay them.

Justice Pathik has also ordered FAI Insurance to pay Rajendra Prasad Supermarket US$2.4 million in damages.