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TT policyholders threaten law suit

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

TT policyholders threaten law suit

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The attorney representing the United Policyholders Group (UPG), Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, says the group is considering suing the coalition People’s Partnership government if it fails to withdraw a June 30 deadline for accepting a government bailout plan to policy holders of the financially troubled Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO).
In a statement, Maharaj, a former attorney general, warned that if the deadline is not withdrawn his clients would also consider making a claim against Cabinet ministers for punitive damages for misfeasance in public office.
“Consideration would be given to seek an order of the High Court to rule that the June 30 deadline does not apply to the relevant Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) policyholders and in particular on whose behalf the judicial review claim has been filed.” 
On April 19, Justice Joan Charles, who is presiding over the policyholders’ case, granted leave to apply for judicial review against the government’s plan.
In her 59-page ruling, Justice  Charles ruled that the group had a reasonable prospect of success for the review. The court has set November 22 and 30 as tentative dates for hearing the matter, which would be altered depending on the schedules of the two British Queen’s Counsel in the matter.
In its application, the group argued that the promises made by the previous administration in 2009 amounted to a guarantee that policyholders would be paid sums which were held in the cash-strapped insurance company, a member of the CL Financial group. (CMC)