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Letter: Houston Casualty Company and the Hyatt Regency

Published on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

As you know, we represent Houston Casualty Company ("HCC").

We refer to the letter dated 16 April 2010 from Mr Bill Powers, Manager of Grand Cayman Beach Suites (formerly the Hyatt) which was published by Cayman Net News under the title "Letter: Response to letter from Houston Casualty Company's attorneys" and also in an article published by Cayman News Service on April 19, 2010 entitled "Bush warns owners etc". Mr Powers' letter was responding to our letter published in Cayman Net News on 7 April 2010, under the heading "Letter: Houston Casualty Company and the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman Resort".

Mr Powers' letter, which we believe was written by Mr Asif Bhatia on behalf of Embassy Investments Limited ("Embassy"), substantially misrepresents the true position in virtually every respect as concerns HCC. It alleges that our letter on behalf of HCC "contains allegations that are false, misleading and/or misrepresentative" and goes on to say that "notably [HCC] has been unable to specify exactly which statement of Embassy's is claimed to be false … which is not surprising because Embassy has not in fact made any false claims".

We asked Mr Powers to issue a formal retraction of certain misrepresentations by 5.30 pm on Thursday 29 April 2010, failing which HCC would disclose to you a copy of the arbitration Award in order to correct the very serious misrepresentations that Mr Bhatia and Embassy persist in making through Mr Powers to the Government and people of Grand Cayman, which HCC consider to be defamatory and actionable.

No formal retraction has been issued as requested and we are accordingly now attaching a copy of the Award of the Sole Arbitrator, Mr Stephen Males QC dated 8 January 2010.

As you will see, the tribunal carefully considered all of the allegations of wrongful conduct made by Embassy and Mr Bhatia in relation to HCC's handling of its modest proportion of Embassy's policy claim in respect of the Hyatt and reached the "firm conclusion that there is no substance in any of them". Despite this determination, which is final and binding on Embassy, which has not pursued any appeal, Embassy and Mr Bhatia persist in repeating the allegations in letters from Mr Power published in the Cayman media.

Mr Bhatia's sworn testimony was discredited as "neither truthful nor reliable" and the tribunal observed that he was "prepared to make virtually any allegation, however fantastic, if he considered it in his interests to do so", concluding that "the true position is that faced with the setback of the unsuccessful summary judgment application in the Cayman Islands," in November 2005, "Mr Bhatia decided to pursue the prospect of a very substantial award of damages in Texas, and is prepared to say whatever he needs to say to enhance that prospect".

Appleby
 
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