Aviation Loss Adjuster
If a minor detail is missed, major problems follow
Underwriters instructed an aviation loss adjuster to investigate and handle a claim arising from the loss to an aircraft. After investigations, the loss adjuster concluded that the loss had been caused by mechanical engine failure.
The underwriters then commenced litigation against the engine manufacturers, on the basis of the loss adjuster’s ﬁndings. In their defence the manufacturers instructed an expert witness who countered the loss adjuster’s allegations of mechanical failure. Nonetheless, the loss adjuster believed his investigation to have been without fault. The underwriters therefore continued with the litigation.
When the litigation was fairly advanced, evidence from the engine manufacturer’s expert witness was disclosed, showing that the loss adjuster’s theory on the engine malfunction was incorrect. Furthermore, this evidence had been available to the loss adjuster throughout the proceedings, but he had simply missed it.
The underwriters had no choice but to settle the claim on the best terms available. However, they had incurred substantial litigation costs, which they then sought to recover from the loss adjuster. Their claim alleged negligence on loss adjuster’s behalf in either failing to see the evidence at the beginning, or failing to acknowledge incorrect ﬁndings once the defendant’s expert report became known.
ITIC sought legal advice on behalf of the loss adjuster, and it became apparent that the loss adjuster was negligent in handling the investigation and claim. On this basis, ITIC settled the underwriters’ claim.