AXIS subsidiary to go to court over Weinstein defence costs

26-09-2018

AXIS Capital subsidiary AXIS Surplus Insurance will go to court to argue it does not have to cover the defence costs of filmmaker Harvey Weinstein in connection with pending civil and criminal litigation, which includes two rape charges, under a directors and officers (D&O) policy.

The insurer will argue that its D&O policy, issued to Walt Disney Miramax, should not be used to cover the alleged sexual assaults because they are personal in nature and not covered under the D&O policy.

Insurer Chubb has also been in dispute with Weinstein on a similar matter.

“Axis has no obligation to provide defense or indemnity coverage to Weinstein in connection with certain criminal and civil matters asserted against Weinstein and tendered to Axis under a primary directors and officers policy issued to The Walt Disney Company for the period October 1, 2017 to October 1, 2018,” said the original complaint.

The Axis lawsuit is pending before Judge Denise Louise Cote, of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. A pretrial hearing is set for October 19.

“Axis seeks a declaration that the various matters tendered to Axis for coverage do not fall within the scope of the coverage afforded by the insuring agreements of the policy under which Weinstein seeks coverage and that coverage for the tendered matters is precluded by California Insurance Code,” the complaint said.

The Axis D&O policy, issued to Walt Disney and Miramax, has a maximum aggregate limit of liability of $25 million, the complaint said.

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Bermuda Re