Talkshow host and former head of the BVI Ports Authority, Claude Skelton-Cline has announced plans to file a class-action lawsuit against insurance companies in the British Virgin Islands.
Effectively, a class-action suit happens when a group of persons who are wronged by the same entity collectively take legal action against that accused wrongdoer.
Skelton-Cline broadcasted yesterday on his ‘Honestly Speaking’ radio programme that he will be leading that charge and is inviting aggrieved residents to join the group.
Since the hurricanes, local insurers have been accused of cheating residents out of fair insurance payouts.
Skelton-Cline described them as criminals and said one particular insurance company was worse than the rest.
He did not publicly name that insurance company.
“As early as tomorrow morning I have a meeting with a lawyer friend because we are going to pursue a class-action suit against these companies. We think that how they have behaved in so many ways is absolutely just criminal… It is unbelievable what is taking place,” he said.
The Premier Dr D Orlando Smith government recently implemented an insurance tribunal to investigate reports of unfairness from insurers and to further help settle disputes between residents and insurance companies.
However, Skelton-Cline is not satisfied and believes government has done nothing that is “really meaningful”.
He went on to call on support from all insured residents, regardless of whether they have received insurance payouts for their properties already.
“The truth of the matter is, whether they took care of you or not, premiums have already gone up for all of us… People are not being taken care of. They are not receiving enough money to repair or rebuild their homes,” he lamented.
“We are going to call a meeting, we are going to assess how many people from what insurance companies are not being taken care of, and we will pursue this vigorously,” Skelton-Cline added.
Court action taken before
Skelton-Cline is no stranger to taking legal action and has filed at least one lawsuit before.
He filed a suit against the governing National Democratic Party for not renewing his employment contract as Ports Authority boss when it ended back in 2016.
He claimed he had ‘reasonable expectation’ that his contract would have been renewed.
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