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NEW YORK-In a rare victory for litigating members of Lloyd's of London in the United States, a federal court ruled that the members can go forward with a case against Citibank North America, which held the Lloyd's American Trust Fund.

U.S. District Judge Robert W. Sweet in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied Citibank's motion to dismiss the case, which alleges Citibank failed in its fiduciary duty to members and allowed the funds of members on profitable syndicates to be used to subsidize loss-making syndicates.

In his ruling, Judge Sweet said Citibank could not invoke the forum selection clause in members' Lloyd's agreements, where the members agreed to settle disputes with Lloyd's in England. In several other cases involving Lloyd's in the United States, courts have upheld the forum selection clause.

The case is one of several Lloyd's-related lawsuits in progress in the United States that have been brought by members who did not accept Lloyd's settlement offer last year. Under the offer, members agreed to abandon litigation against Lloyd's in return for limiting their debts to Lloyd's. About 95% of members accepted the offer, but 1,955 refused.

A handful of litigating members and their families were outside a New York hotel last week protesting the presentation of an award inside to David Rowland, chairman of Lloyd's.

At the event, Mr. Rowland said the protesters had all had a chance to accept the settlement offer and the offer had been the best solution for the greatest number of people.

Mr. Rowland was accepting the Insurance Leader of the Year award from The College of Insurance in New York.