Insurance Expert Witness On WTC Insurers Part 1

In The World Trade Center Property Insurance Trial: Lessons Learned?, insurance claims expert witness Akos Swierkiewicz writes:

Had the tragic events on 9/11/01 not occurred, we would have never learned about negligence, mistakes, errors and omissions, inconsistencies, and confusion that plagued the placement and negotiation of the property insurance program for the WTC and brought to light during the WTC trial.

The primary parties involved in the litigation were 13 WTC insurers, including Lloyd’s syndicates, counted as one, the broker Willis and their client, Silverstein Properties, the leaseholder. The insurers contended that they were bound by the WilProp 2000 form, which defines “occurrence” and would limit the WTC claim to $3.5 billion, while Silverstein’s position was that the Travelers’ form applied, which does not define occurrence and would respond to the each of the WTC towers separately, resulting in a $7.0 billion loss payment.

After the brilliant work by lawyers on behalf of the parties to this litigation, determination of what form applied to the 9/11/01 claim was left to a jury, unfamiliar with insurance, which was so confused early in the trial that it sent a note to the judge asking, “what is this case about” and, during their deliberations, asking whether Munich Reinsurance and Swiss Reinsurance were a part of Lloyd’s.