Crossing the line
A marine surveyor was appointed by the owners of a ship that had been involved in a major casualty which had involved significant loss of life. There were potential criminal charges arising out of the incident.
The local police had taken possession of the vessel while investigations as to the cause were underway. The surveyor was invited to attend the vessel by the owner’s fleet manager. On reaching the wreck no one stopped them from going on board. Subsequently a joint survey with all the parties involved, including the Public Prosecutor, was carried out. During the joint survey the member indicated to the Public Prosecutor various points of interest in the wreck. When queried about his knowledge of the places, the surveyor responded that he had previously been on board with the fleet manager. The surveyor had assumed that the fleet manager had been authorised to take him on board.
The Public Prosecutor considered charging both the fleet manager and the surveyor personally with tampering with evidence. The surveyor’s employer had purchased ITIC’s Directors’ and Officers’ cover. This additional insurance covers legal costs arising from criminal charges that would fall outside the scope of a professional indemnity policy. A specialist criminal lawyer was appointed and the matter was resolved.
Directors’ & Officers’ insurance (D&O) is a personal insurance purchased by the employer
for the benefit of its directors and officers. ITIC’s D&O product protects both individual directors from claims against them in person and also the company that has to indemnify these senior staff.