Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Plane 'Was Uninsured': Learjet 35A, N17UF, Diplomat Aviation (Bahamas) Limited, LLC, accident occurred November 09, 2014 in Freeport, Bahamas

Attorneys representing Diplomat Aviation (Bahamas) Ltd, the company under which the ill-fated Learjet 36 carrying Bahamas Faith Ministries pastor Dr. Myles Munroe was registered, are embroiled in a court battle with a US-based insurance company over the payout from a $10m liability policy in the aftermath of the November 9 tragedy.

The plaintiff, XL Specialty Insurance Company, has insisted that it is under no obligation to honor the policy because it expired on November 5, four days before the crash, and was not renewed. Diplomat Aviation is listed as the defendant in the matter.

According to court documents obtained by The Tribune, Diplomat Aviation’s law firm Gary, Williams, Parenti & Watson, sent a letter to XL on December 5 requesting the company honor the terms of the policy. The law firm operates from Stuart, Florida.

The policy was effective from November 5, 2012, to November 5, 2013, the documents said. It was renewed for the period November 5, 2013 to November 5, 2014, with liability coverage of $10m per occurrence for the aircraft.

According to the policy, there are liability settlement limits for $100,000 for each non-crew member passenger and each crew member.

“In connection with our representation, we have been advised that XL Specialty Insurance Company issued a XL Pinnacle Aviation Hull and Liability policy of insurance to Diplomat Aviation (Bahamas) Limited LLC effective 12.01 am, November 5, 2014,” a letter sent to XL by lawyers representing the defendant noted.

“We understand that XL agreed to provide coverage under the policy unless it provided written notice of cancellation or non-renewal of the policy consistent with the requirements of the policy.

“Further we understand that if XL intended to renew the policy, XL would provide written notice of renewal terms and a statement of the premium whether actual or estimated, not less than 30 days prior to policy expiration.

“Our client received no notices falling within the requirements of the policy, which would initiate cancellation or non-renewal of the policy before November 9, 2014,” the letter from Diplomat Aviation’s lawyers added.

In its declaration to a District Court in the South Carolina Division, XL Specialty argued that “after receiving proper notice,” Diplomat Aviation did not renew the policy.

The company is asking the courts to rule that no insurance policy was in effect at the time of the crash that killed all nine on board.

“As such any coverage provided by the policy ended on November 5, 2014,” the court papers said. “The aviation crash occurred on November 9, 2014.

“XL now seeks a declaratory judgment that no policy was in effect for the date of loss, November 9, 2014. As such no coverage exists after November 5,” the company said in court documents.

“XL Specialty prays that this honorable court issue an order declaring that it is under no obligation or duty to defend and/or indemnify Diplomat Aviation under the policy in any manner regarding the November 9, 2014 incident, claims, future lawsuits, or any judgment arising therefrom and for such other and further relief as this court deem just and appropriate.”

According to the court papers, XL Specialty Insurance Company is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Connecticut.

Robert H.  Hood Jr and James Andrew Bradshaw represent the plaintiff.

Diplomat Aviation, the defendant, has a location in Lexington County, South Carolina, the court papers said. The documents were filed on December 11 in Charleston, South Carolina.

The aviation disaster claimed the lives of Dr.  Munroe, 60, his wife Ruth, along with BFMI vice-president Dr Richard Pinder, newly ordained youth pastors Lavard “Manifest” Parks, his pregnant wife Radel, their five-year-old son Johanan, pilot Captain Stanley Thurston and co-pilot, First Officer Frahkan Cooper. An American citizen, Diego DeSantiago, was also on board.

They were all killed immediately when the aircraft truck a towering crane at the Grand Bahama Shipyard and crashed into a junk pile.

According to initial reports from the Department of Civil Aviation, the plane left Nassau shortly after 4pm and crashed around 5.10pm on its approach to Grand Bahama in deteriorating weather conditions.

The group was flying into Grand Bahama from New Providence for an annual leadership conference organised by Dr. Munroe.

Story and Comments:  http://www.tribune242.com

XL Specialty Insurance Company v. Diplomat Aviation (Bahamas) Limited, LLC: Complaint http://www.offshorealert.com


NTSB Identification: ERA15RA047
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Sunday, November 09, 2014 in Freeport, Bahamas
Aircraft: GATES LEARJET CORP. 35A, registration: N17UF
Injuries: 9 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On November 9, 2014, about 1652 eastern standard time, a Gates Learjet Corp 35A, N17UF, registered to Diplomat Aviation (Bahamas) Ltd., was destroyed when it impacted a crane and terrain during approach to Grand Bahama International Airport (MYGF), Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas. The airline transport pilot, copilot, and seven passengers were fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), Nassau, Bahamas, about 1600 and was operating under Bahamian flight regulations at the time of the accident.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

Air Accident Investigation & Prevention Unit

Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation
P.O. Box AP-59244
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
1 (242) 376-1617
1 (242) 377-6060 FAX
Email: aaipu.bcaa@gmail.com
website: www.aaipu-bcaa.com

This report is for informational purposes, and only contains information released by the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

First Officer Frahkan Cooper

Captain Stanley Thurston

The passengers and pilots preparing to board the ill-fated flight.

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