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MRM to take appeal to Privy Council

Mutual Risk Management plans to “take every step available” to fight a Bermuda Appeal Court judgement against the company.

In a statement yesterday, the company, which is in run off, said it will be appealing to the Privy Council.

Siding with US building supplies billionaire Diane Hendricks, her late husband Kenneth and their company American Patriot Insurance Agency, the Appeal Court overturned a judgement made last July by Puisne Judge Geoffrey Bell and found that Mrs Hendricks and her company were victims of commercial fraud.

But MRM president David Ezekiel, on behalf of the Mutual group, said in a statement to

The Royal Gazette: “Mutual Risk Management is very surprised and disappointed by the decision of the Bermuda Court of Appeal in the American Patriot case and will be appealing to the Privy Council in London to overturn the Court of Appeal findings against the Mutual Group and its employees and to obtain the balance of funds due to Mutual from American Patriot.

“The trial judge at the original court hearing, who saw all the pertinent documents and heard detailed accounts from witnesses over a 19-day period, concluded that there had been no wrongdoing by the Mutual Group or any Mutual Group employees and dismissed all the counter-claims against the Mutual Group of companies.

“We believe the trial judge’s decisions were wholly correct based on all the facts. MRM will take every step available to redress this situation. We believe that the then employees of the Mutual Group acted appropriately at all times, and that they and the Mutual Group companies will be vindicated at the Privy Council.”

In his ruling, Mr Bell had awarded MRM $3.4 million on its claim against Hendricks/AMPAT regarding the enforcement of a shareholder agreement that formed part of its programme aimed at insuring roofers and workers in the construction industry.

AMPAT had been a client in a rent-a-captive with the Mutual group.

Hendricks/AMPAT had accused MRM of mismanaging its programme by failing to cap AMPAT’s liability, as allegedly agreed.

The appellants had also accused Mutual of falsely inducing AMPAT to pay a $1 million premium for reinsurance coverage that was never subsequently ever purchased, something that AMPAT described as “bogus reinsurance”.

MRM, on the other hand, had claimed that AMPAT owed $3.4 million to cover losses suffered by the programme.

However, Justice of Appeal Sir Anthony Evans giving the judgement of the court ruled: “I would hold that the appeal should be allowed to the extent indicated above, on the ground that the allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and fraudulent conspiracy are proved against (Mutual) Holdings, Mutual Indemnity, Mr Alexander and Mr Partridge.

“I am satisfied that this is an exceptional case where the Court of Appeal is entitled, indeed bound, to reverse the Judge’s findings as regards Mr Partridge and Mr Alexander which I am satisfied are plainly wrong ...”

Mrs Hendricks, a 64-year-old mother of seven from Wisconsin, is listed by Forbes as the 170th richest person in America and No 540 in the world, with a net worth of $2.2 billion.

MRM president David Ezekiel

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Published August 19, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 19, 2011 at 10:05 am)

MRM to take appeal to Privy Council

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