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Jury Awards American Samoa $86.7 Million From Insurance Company

September 26, 1995

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A jury ordered an insurance company to pay $86.7 million to the territory of American Samoa for denying damage claims from a 1991 hurricane.

The Superior Court jury on Monday added $57.8 million in punitive damages to $28.9 million in actual damages awarded earlier.

The U.S. territory claimed Affiliated FM Insurance Co. paid only $6.1 million toward damage estimated at $50 million after Hurricane Val ravaged the islands with 150 mph winds and 50-foot waves.

The U.S. territory in the South Pacific needs the money to rebuild schools, utilities and government buildings, said spokeswoman Linda Sarver.

The insurance company said wave damage was excluded from the $45 million policy, which also had a $10 million deductible. Janette Skeels, a lawyer for the Johnston, R.I., company, said the insurer will appeal.

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