A court entered an Order on a jury verdict of $23.87 million in favor of several of the United National group of insurance companies and against Aon Limited and certain of its predecessors. The verdict was composed of $16.87 million in damages and $7 million in attorneys’ fees.
United National brought the action seeking indemnification from Aon for damages it sustained as a result of an arbitration award that partially rescinded the reinsurance obligations of an Italian reinsurer, Riunione Adriatica di Sicurta, to United National. The partial rescission was made in connection with a program providing insurance coverage to United States contractors and allied trades for risks arising out of residential and commercial construction projects. The arbitration award stemmed out of Aon’s improper conduct in soliciting RAS’s participation in this program without disclosing to RAS material information relating to, among other things, the program’s loss reserve methodology, premium discounts, and the frequency of claims. In the arbitration, RAS alleged that the program – which was placed and managed by Aon as the agent for United National – had been misrepresented by Aon to RAS as a successful program with low loss ratios. RAS also alleged that Aon failed to disclose until after the negotiations over RAS’s participation in the program were complete that RAS’s underwriter had solicited a $250,000 kickback from Aon. Due to the partial rescission, United National was obligated to pay RAS’s damages. United National then brought the indemnity suit against Aon to recover not only those damages United National paid to RAS, but also its attorneys’ fees and costs paid in defending the arbitration initiated by RAS. United National Insurance Co. v. Aon Limited, Case No. 04-CV-539 (USDC E.D. Pa. Dec. 4, 2008).