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Hospital in Neil Armstrong case had captive, excess cover

Hospital in Neil Armstrong case had captive, excess cover

The Cincinnati-area hospital that reportedly paid $6 million to settle a wrongful death suit filed by astronaut Neil Armstrong’s heirs had a Cayman Islands-based captive at the time of his death, with excess coverages provided by several insurers, according to the hospital’s financial report.

The New York Times reported Wednesday, based on an anonymous mailing it had received, that relatives of Mr. Armstrong, who fifty years ago this month became the first man to walk on the moon, had sued Mercy Health contending that incompetent post-surgical care at its Fairfield, Ohio, hospital following the former astronaut’s bypass surgery in August 2012 led to his death.

The financial statement for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012, of Catholic Heath Partners, which operated the hospital and later rebranded as Mercy Health, said its health professional liability and hospital general liability exposures are covered through its captive, CHP Insurance (SPC) Ltd.

The captive also provides policies for certain employed physicians, commercial insurance deductibles, stop-loss medical coverage and the company’s fleet property damage coverage, the financial statement says.

Commercial excess insurance was provided by the CNA Financial Corp., Zurich American Insurance Co., Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd., which has since been acquired by Sompo Holdings Ltd., and Ace Ltd, which is now known as Chubb Ltd.

The report states that as of Dec. 31, 2012, the captive had $65.7 million in assets.

In response to a query, the hospital issued a statement that said in part, “Our commitment to patient privacy and dignity is a responsibility we take very seriously, and we are unable to discuss any individual or his or her care.

“The public nature of these details is very disappointing – both for our ministry and the patient’s family who had wished to keep this legal matter private.” 

Insurers did not respond to a request for comment.

The Times reported that Mr. Armstrong’s son, Mark and Rick, split nearly $5.2 million of the settlement, while his brother and sister each received $250,00 and six grandchildren received $24,000.