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In case you are wondering what your holiday reading is, the draft Conduct of Financial Institutions Bill has been published by the National Treasury for comment. Comments will be accepted until 1 April 2019. The suite of documents includes the Bill itself (188 pages), the COFI Bill Policy Paper (90 pages), and the Socio-Economic Assessment setting out the identified problems, the main causes of the problems and why the problems arise, according to Treasury. This…
The Constitutional Court reaffirmed that a debt becomes due when it is immediately claimable or recoverable. Where the purchase price was not receivable under the Alienation of Land Act 1981 until the contract was recorded at the Deeds Office, prescription did not start to run until the recording of the contract took place. It is only after a debt becomes due that the debtor has an obligation to make payment or perform and the creditor…
Ohio’s high court has held that damage from a subcontractor’s faulty work is not fortuitous in the context of a commercial general liability policy which covered an ‘occurrence’ meaning an ‘accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions’ causing property damage including physical injury to or destruction of tangible property. The constructors built a new luxury hotel and conference centre with the help of subcontractors. After the work was completed…
A Florida court held that the insurer had no duty to defend a hotel operator’s information technology subsidiary against allegations that it was responsible for a hacking incident that exposed hotel customers’ credit card data because, under the general liability policy, there was no ‘making known to any person or organisation covered material that violates a person’s right of privacy’. Whilst it was common cause that the data breach related to ‘covered material’, the court…
A refining company claimed under its equipment breakdown insurance policy following an explosion that occurred when a segment of a pipe in a charge heater designed to refine the petroleum product naphtha burst. A 600 degree naphtha mixture was running through the pipe at more than 14 000 pounds per hour and, when the charge heater burst, produced a violent explosion and fireball. The policy excluded damage due to fires and explosions except for ‘non-combustion explosions…
In reaching a decision regarding the sanctions clause in a policy, the UK High Court made a number of useful comments on how a policy is interpreted: When a dictionary definition is relied on (in this case for the meaning of ‘expose’) it is a useful starting point but is not necessarily determinative of the meaning which the clause as a whole, read in its context, would convey to a reasonable person. One can be…
An awaited decision on the enforceability of the sanctions provision in policies of insurance heard in the UK courts has turned out to be of not much general assistance. The English High Court found that, although an insurer is not liable to pay a claim where the payment would be prohibited under EU or US law and thus ‘would expose’ the insurers to a sanction, in the context, the EU sanctions did not apply because…
A jury in Wisconsin awarded damages to two transgender women who were denied gender-confirming medical care by a state health plan. The state’s health insurance excluded procedures, services and supplies ‘related to surgery and sex hormones associated with gender reassignment’. The court found that the exclusion is unconstitutional because it ‘entrenches the belief that transgender individuals must preserve the genitalia and other physical attributes of their natal sex over not just personal preference, but specific…
The Department of Home Affairs issued an Immigration Directive which required departmental functionaries to refuse all applications for temporary or permanent residence visas made by the holder of an asylum seeker permit. The court found that the directive was treated as binding by the departmental officials tasked to implement it and it was therefore open for the court to make a determination whether the directive was not empowered by the statute and therefore invalid. The…
A court in Ohio found that bitcoin is covered ‘property’ under a homeowner’s policy and not ‘money’ and therefore the claim for lost bitcoin was not limited by the money sublimit. The decision was based partly on a recent Internal Revenue Service document that categorised virtual currency such as bitcoin as property for federal tax purposes. The ruling enabled the policyholder to claim $16 000 for stolen bitcoin rather than the money sublimit of $200. A…