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Something I noticed, the defence solicitor/lawyer said that as Sovereign was a smal family company any large settlement could see them face financial ruin, do skipper/charters not have liability insurance to cover costs such as this?
Is Sovereign not a limited company, are most skippers/charters not Limited?

Matt
 

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Something I noticed, the defence solicitor/lawyer said that as Sovereign was a smal family company any large settlement could see them face financial ruin, do skipper/charters not have liability insurance to cover costs such as this?
Matt

I am certainly not an expert on this but maybe the insurance is invalid if the skipper in charge was not "qualified" to the terms of the insurance.

Steve
 

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Something I noticed, the defence solicitor/lawyer said that as Sovereign was a smal family company any large settlement could see them face financial ruin, do skipper/charters not have liability insurance to cover costs such as this?
Is Sovereign not a limited company, are most skippers/charters not Limited?

Matt
A lot of small 2 person companies are Limited purely for tax reasons. I would imagine that they would have to have public liability and/or public indemnity insurance, or at least 'should have'....
 

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I am certainly not an expert on this but maybe the insurance is invalid if the skipper in charge was not "qualified" to the terms of the insurance.

Steve
The other thing that came to mind. The skipper is only responsible for the people once they are on the boat, so i wonder if he'd be covered?
 

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I suspect that if Sovereign is successfully sued then they might be forced into a position where they would have to sell boats & other capital items to pay it. It would depend on where the insurance company's liability ended. Then they would be ruined.
 

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I suspect that if Sovereign is successfully sued then they might be forced into a position where they would have to sell boats & other capital items to pay it. It would depend on where the insurance company's liability ended. Then they would be ruined.
If they were Limited, then they would only have to sell the Ltd Company assets to pay a fine/compensation. The person would have to then bring a civil action against the individual rather than the company to claim anything outstanding.....It's a costly old game.....Thats why I work under my own Ltd company. They can't have what i aint got!
 

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Is Sovereign not a limited company, are most skippers/charters not Limited?
Matt
Being Ltd doesn't really protect you in that sense - they could still come after the directors personally and many small companies have personal guarantees against the company in any case.

Its a tragic story all round and there will be no winners :(
 

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If they were Limited, then they would only have to sell the Ltd Company assets to pay a fine/compensation. The person would have to then bring a civil action against the individual rather than the company to claim anything outstanding.....It's a costly old game.....Thats why I work under my own Ltd company. They can't have what i aint got!
True, but if they have to sell the company assets, like the boats, then how will they make a living?
Its a tragic story all round and there will be no winners :(
except, perhaps, the lawyers :(

Anyway, it isn't really for us to speculate on what might or might not happen.
 

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All hail the mighty ZOM
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As a dive operation they should have public liability insurance to the tune of 3 million or so. If they have been tight and not taken this out then I'd have their business, boats, stock and houses and cobblers to them. If they made the choice not to have the insurance and made the choice to send an unqualified skipper out in charge of the boat then they have to accept the consequences of their actions.
 

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Christopher Knox, representing Sovereign Diving, said the firm was a small family company which would be ruined by any substantial financial punishment, and previously had a faultless record.

I like the way this is put - shouldn't it read "until this incident - they'd got away with it":angry:
 

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As a dive operation they should have public liability insurance to the tune of 3 million or so.
Pure speculation on my part, but the statement from the skipper in the article that
he did not have a certificate allowing him to operate diving trips
could well trigger an exclusion clause in any insurance they may have.
 

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All hail the mighty ZOM
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Pure speculation on my part, but the statement from the skipper in the article that could well trigger an exclusion clause in any insurance they may have.
Not sure on that one. I assume in a civil case they would have to show wilful negligence which we will find out on Friday whether the criminal case will stick against the skipper. If it does then I would guess that the diver could quite easily sue Sovereign. Whether the insurance company stump up for it is a seperate issue- the diver will sue Sovereign, if he wins there will be a settlement which will be either covered by the insurance company if they agree to cough up or by the assets of the company. A couple of boats and the business isn't going to cover much so the diver may want to persue the directors too in which case they might find themselves caravanning for a while.
 

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The only people who know what happened, and are therefore qualified to make any kind of specific, fact based statement are the skipper, the Douglases and the victim.

I really don't think anyone will be well served by a YD gossip thread.
 

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I would like to point out that lack of a certificate does not mean that the skipper is necessarily no good, just very foolhardy?

Who is to blame? I suppose the majority of the blame must be with the skipper as there isn't too much you can do on the surface when fully kitted up ..............

I have hated the odd occasions when a boat has thrown the engine into reverse when picking me up ............
 

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You dir'ty ole' man!!!!!
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Perhaps Sovereign were gearing up last year for a battle as they sold their Lodge Hotel!

Whatever happens, let's only hope it can be mutually agreeable and satisfaction is achieved.
 

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Perhaps Sovereign were gearing up last year for a battle as they sold their Lodge Hotel!
I wouldn't be surprised to find - if they had any sense - that a lot of the company and family assets have been 'passed on' in anticipation.

As Dianne said from the start, it is a very sorry situation for everyone involved. Of course your sympathies have to lie with the poor unfortunate who lost his leg - it's not something any of us expect from a day's diving. But equally, there was obviously never any intent on the part of the skipper and it's all just a tragic accident. The really follhardy aspect however is that the skipper was not licenced. Probably nothing more than an administrative oversight, but one that will no doubt invalidate any insurance cover they have and turn a terrible situation into an absolute nightmare.

I've dived with Sovereign a few times and found them to be a very well organised outfit. It would be a shame to see them disappear. Perhaps they have managed to sideline and save some of their assets within the family, such as the various B&B operations, to give them a chance to recover. But, all that said, the injured diver deserves a decent settlement and I hope he gets one.
 
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