Russian insurer disputes recovery of $588k for air crash in Iraq
MOSCOW, June 6 - RAPSI. The Moscow District Federal Commercial Court registered an appeal by GUTA-Insurance against the court resolution to recover $588,000 in indemnity insurance on behalf of British Gulf International Co. LTD for an air crash in Iraq in 2008.
The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals recovered the amount from the insurer on March 27, having overruled the Moscow Commercial Court's decision of December 30, 2011, which stated that the insurer was not obliged to issue the payment.
The court of appeals found that the report on the accident was an appropriate proof for determining the outcome of the insurance case. The insurer has not provided any other form of proof.
The expert conclusion that the plane was hit by a ball projectile, which led to the crash, was a hypothesis and therefore it cannot be considered a proven fact or the basis on which to refuse to uphold the lawsuit, the court stated.
Since the insurance company received all documents it requested, including the final report on the accident submitted by the plaintiff, and it has paid no indemnity insurance, the claims must be upheld, the resolution reads.
British Gulf International Co. LTD says it signed an insurance contract regarding the An-12 aircraft with GUTA-Insurance on April 20, 2008.
The contract defined the insurance risks in line with standard aircraft insurance regulations, holding that in the event of the aircraft's total loss, the insurer shall indemnify it in full or replace the aircraft. The indemnity amounted to circa $588,000.
The defendant was notified of the plane crash by the plaintiff within 24 hours. On November 18, 2008, GUTA-Insurance asked for the necessary documents so as to be able to decide whether the crash can be considered a loss event and if it was obliged to pay out. The plaintiff duly provided the defendant with the requested documents.
On June 1, 2010, GUTA informed the plaintiff that it could not make a final decision on the compensation since it was not provided with the duly executed Final Report on AN-12 Plane Crash made by the Iraqi Civil Aviations Flights Safety Department.
The lower court ruling stated that the air crash cannot qualify as an insured event, since the aircraft in question was operated by a lower class pilot than required by the insurance contract. The court therefore dismissed the claim, as the An-12 was flown by a second class pilot whereas the contract required the plane to be flown by a first class pilot only.
Moreover, the plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence in support of its claims.