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WTC Captive files motion to dismiss lawsuit


NEW YORK--WTC Captive Insurance Co. has filed a motion to dismiss a multimillion dollar plaintiffs' suit, citing immunity from personal liability for all defendants but the captive itself.

That lawsuit--filed last month against WTC Captive, the captive's service providers, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and WTC Captive President and Chief Executive Officer Christine La Sala, among other individuals--alleges that the captive has misused its roughly $1 billion in federal funding by spending millions on legal and other fees to fight injured Ground Zero workers claims rather than compensating them (BI, July 23).

In its motion to dismiss, WTC Captive argues that New York law provides immunity for all the defendants named in the plaintiffs' suit, except the insurer itself.

"Neither the mayor of such city, nor any of the captive's members, directors, officers, employees or agents appointed by or with the approval of such city, nor any officials, officers, employees or agents of the city, while acting within the scope of their authority, shall be subject to any personal liability resulting from the exercise or carrying out of any of the city's or captive's purposes or powers under this article," the state statute says, according to the motion to dismiss.

The plaintiffs' complaint also fails to establish breach of fiduciary duty, WTC argues.

Meanwhile, the filing notes that while WTC Captive's captive manager, Marsh Management Services, was named in the complaint, it has not yet been served by the plaintiffs' law firm, Worby Groner & Napoli Bern L.L.P.

WTC Captive and Mayor Bloomberg have supported the liquidation of the captive and reallocation of its funds to a victims' compensation fund--provided that legislation forming such a fund resolves legitimate claims for those that qualify for compensation from the fund and eliminates liability for the captive's insureds, the city and its contractors, from any future claims related to the cleanup of the trade center site.