Business Irish

Saturday 3 December 2016

Supreme Court hears appeal over liability for Setanta claims

Tim Healy

Published 25/10/2016 | 02:30

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The Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has brought an appeal against decisions it is potentially liable for claims brought against collapsed insurer Setanta.

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The MIBI compensates victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles. A seven- judge Supreme Court is hearing its appeal.

As all motor insurers operating here must be members of the MIBI, the decisions by the High Court and Court of Appeal effectively mean all insurers entering the Irish market must undertake an "enormous potential liability", Paul Gallagher SC, for the MIBI, said.

"That cannot be correct," he told the opening day of the appeal.

A priority hearing of the appeal was granted by the Supreme Court due to the implications of last May's decision by the Court of Appeal rejecting the MIBI's arguments it should not be held liable. The liquidator of Maltese-registered Setanta says the cost of claims could run to about €90m.

The Law Society is opposing the MIBI appeal and contends that the MIBI agreement envisaged it would pay out if a member became insolvent. The appeal continues today.

Irish Independent

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